Press Reports

Extracted from the Eastern Evening News,Saturday, August 25, 2001

KING RICHARD

Click on picture to enlarge & 'Back' to return

Action ShotNational Junior Singles Trophy

Photos by Mike Finn-Kelcey / Allsport

Bloomfield is national under 18 singles champion
by GRAHAM DUNBAR

NOW the tennis nation knows that Richard Bloomfield is the one to watch.

The 18-year-old from Alpington yesterday took the top title in the British junior game by defeating top seed and arch rival Alex Bogdanovic of Middlesex 6-4, 6-4 in the Final of the National Under-18 Championships at Nottingham.

"I've done well," said the typically low key Bloomfield. In fact, the second-seeded 18-year-old could hardly have been more impressive as he blitzed the best of Britain in six superb days to add the doubles crown as well, with Lancashire's Ken Skupski.

Not a set dropped in II matches, not a service game lost in six singles encounters.

A prime motivator for the Norfolk prospect was the fact that Bogdanovic has been seen as the Lawn Tennis Association's chosen favourite this season as the pair stood out as by far the best of the junior class of 2001.

Bogdanovic got the plum coaching base in Sutton, Surrey while Bloomfield was sent to Cambridge to train.

"I suppose I wanted to prove a point and show that you don't have to be in the top squad to do well," the unofficial new number one admitted. " I wanted to show where I am and that Alex is not miles ahead of me. We have stood out this year and it was that sort of match - to see who was best on the day."

The showdown match was delayed by rain and sent indoors to escape the persistent drizzle.

With the first set in the balance at 4-4 Bloomfield seized the initiative to break Bogdanovic and close out the set with his invincible serve.

"I served really well and he didn't have much rhythm on my serve, so I was pretty confident - it was just a case of whether I break him

"The next opening arrived - and was taken - at 2-2 in the second set and the trophy inscribed with Tim Henman's name in 1992 was on its way back to Norfolk.

"I expected him to play better but maybe it was the way I played that stopped him," said a modest victor, who was groomed in the Norfolk LTA ranks by Sue Rich and Martin Smith before his progress was carried forward with coach Ron Allan.

"I haven't played a junior tournament since Wimbledon and my goals for this year are finished now."

"I think I will play some Futures in Glasgow, Sunderland and Leeds-now to get senior world ranking points. When you are winning you are just enjoying it on court."

Bloomfield's work continued into the afternoon yesterday where he joined up with Ken Skupski as the top-seeded doubles pairing to defeat Craig Evans and Martin Smith 7-6 (7) 6-3.

Return to Index PageReturn to top of page