Lauren finishes the year in fine style

Lauren Jones PICTURE BY THE TENNIS FOUNDATION
Lauren Jones PICTURE BY THE TENNIS FOUNDATION

WORTHING’S Lauren Jones completed 2015 in fine style, after winning her first women’s singles title at the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships and also adding her second women’s doubles title.

Jones, aged 20, reached the final after 6-0, 6-0 wins over Shropshire’s Deena Webster and Gloucestershire’s Charltotte Fairbank, before coming from a set down and finishing strongly to defeat Devon’s Luz Esperanza Merry 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Jones and Merry, two of the young talents on the Tennis Foundation’s wheelchair tennis world class performance programme, also reached the final of the women’s doubles without dropping a game before easing past Lancashire’s Helen Bond and Shropshire’s Val Fisher 6-1, 6-2.

“The final was tight all the way through, but I tightened up my game in the second set and made sure I made more balls than Esperanza did. I knew if I could win the mental battle I would win the match, but my focus wasn’t on winning, it was on developing my game and I just wanted to commit to that and then the result came,” said Jones, who won her first national title in 2011 partnering current British number one Jordanne Whiley to victory in the women’s doubles.

After 14 months out of the sport with injury, Jones made a victorious return at the ITF Futures tournament in Sheffield in April this year, where she also beat Merry in the women’s singles semi-finals en route to winning her second senior singles world ranking draw.

A former world number one junior, who also reached a career-best senior singles ranking of number 25 by the end of 2013, Jones earned her place back on the 52-week rollover rankings in June this year after accruing points in the required two tournaments since her return.

She had rebuilt her ranking to a position just inside the world’s top 60 by the beginning of December after tournaments in France, Belgium, Britain and the Czech Republic.

Jones said: “In my tournaments leading up to Nationals I could feel things starting to come together so it’s nice to come away with a win along with that.

“I’m happy with my performance in the final. I can feel myself improving all the time and there are massive positives to take away after having had a year out.”

“I made good use of my time when I was injured and studied the sport and the psychology of the game, as I had never played tennis before my accident in 2009.

“I was still very much a novice in that side of things and my recent goals have been focused on continuing to develop and improve the mental side of my game.”

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