Tennis: Phillips focused for glory at Bath

Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips

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It was inevitable that the match schedule would have to be torn up and re-done when play started at the British Tour tennis event in Bath.

The match-ups were tough in the first round of the main draw and the day started with three of the first four matches lasting in excess of two hours, 27 minutes.

Phillips’ match lasted a respectable 1hr 42min to prove she can fight against top British players even though she lost 6-2, 6-2.

This pushed the start-time back of the following matches back. More long matches resulted in even more disruption. Matches continued late into the night. One match even had to be suspended midway through and was completed the following morning.

It is unusual for this to happen at an indoor national event.

Felpham 19-year-old Lisa Phillips was partly to blame for causing the referee’s predicament. She was first match on against Staffordshire’s Frankie Wilkes, renowned for her fast-paced shots.

Their match was a long tough tussle and Phillips got off to a good start, winning the first set 6-2, before the tables turned and Wilkes came back winning the second set 6-4.

All was to play for but Phillips had the upper hand winning 6-2 to go through to the next round.

Phillips next faced top seed and favourite Francesca Stephenson, who is usually playing abroad in international events.

The 22-year-old is ranked inside the top 700 in the world and 25 in GB. Phillips gave a good performance and used her slice backhand where she could to frustrate Stephenson.

Phillips’ match lasted a respectable 1hr 42min to prove she can fight against top British players even though she lost 6-2, 6-2.

Now Phillips is heading north and hoping to compete in international events in Glasgow, Sunderland and The Wirral to gain further experience at this level.

Her main sponsors are Game, Set and Match for tennis gear and Core Results for help with fitness but she is also looking for sponsors to help with accommodation or travel costs.

Phillips keeps costs to a minimum by sharing accommodation with other players or staying in youth hostels. She also coaches tennis, which helps with some of the costs associated with playing at an elite level.

For further details see www.lisaphillips.co.uk

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