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SPORT


Bloomfield aiming for place in top 100

July 10, 2004 10:25

TENNIS ace Richard Bloomfield today said that having basked in the surroundings of Wimbledon for a second successive year, he too is ready to shine.

"I am certainly looking to take my game to another level," said the 21-year-old from Alpington. "My long-term aim has to be to break into the world top 100.

"I'm pleased with the way my game has developed technically and I don't feel there is a lot of improvement that I can make on that at the moment.

"I am working on my fitness, trying to improve my speed around the court and I could do to put on more muscle.

"If you look at the likes of Roger Federer, he is an exceptional athlete as well as being a very good tennis player."

Last year Bloomfield felt he was slightly out-muscled by his French opponent at Wimbledon, Anthony Dupuis, who was ranked 75 in the world, losing in straight sets, but has since then made a concerted effort to increase his power.

This time round Bloomfield, currently ranked 521 in the world in the singles, had hoped to be on a more level playing field, but unfortunately came up against 18th seed Feliciano Lopez, from Spain, who still had a sizeable weight and height advantage, which he made tell.

Bloomfield declared: "Last year I played Dupuis at Wimbledon and I thought he was big and I have made efforts to improve my size, but then I turned up again this year and my opponent was twice as big again.

"I'm going to Florida in the States on a regular basis to try to improve the fitness side of my game and get more quality match practice."

While over in the States with his coach Pete Russell, a former LTA instructor, Bloomfield has managed to improve his game, but he believes now is the time to step it up a gear because there is no substitute for match experience.

He said: "Now is the time for me to step up the level and amount of competition.

"Instead of playing two tournaments and then having two weeks off, I want to be playing four weeks and then two weeks off to improve on my match fitness.

"I know there is a lot of room for improvement, but you also need that little bit of luck along the way as there is not a lot of difference between a player ranked 500 and, say, a player ranked 100."

Bloomfield has had some success this season, reaching the final of the ITF Bahrain F1 Futures tournament in Manama, Bahrain, at the start of the year and following that up with six last 32 finishes in Satellite and Future tournaments.





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