With some great results producing a doubles world ranking on the international stage during the summer and ending the year with injury, 2016 can only be described as mixed for Lisa Phillips, Sussex’s top-ranked tennis player.
This year, Phillips reached a doubles women’s world ranking of 933, gaining a crucial 15 points at the Surbiton Trophy and reaching the quarter-final with her doubles partner Natalie Hepburn.
Phillips also gained one ranking point by reaching the quarter-final in Ponta Delgarda with Elina Vikhryanova and one ranking point at the Eastbourne Trophy with Tzarina Tuen-Matthews.
More recently Phillips represented Sussex in the County Cup at Liverpool. Sussex were in division 2b and had some tough opposition and played against Cambridgeshire, Cheshire and Northumberland.
Sussex had a mixed team of experienced players as well as some youngsters playing for the ladies’ county team for the first time.
Phillips got off to a fantastic start by winning her singles 6-3, 7-6 against Cambridgeshire’s Thalia Martin and winning her doubles with partner Jojo Bach against Thalia Martin and Laura Oates with a score of 6-0, 7-6.
Sussex won seven of the nine rubbers, comprising six singles matches and three doubles matches with wins for Eleanor Chapman, Jojo Bach, Kate Smith and Ellie Dasent in the singles and Lydia Hammond partnering Kate Smith in the doubles.
On day two, Sussex struggled against Cheshire. Phillips lost her singles 6-3, 6-0 against world-ranked Eden Richardson. In the doubles, Phillips and Bach narrowly lost the doubles against Hannah McCollgan and Katie Sidell.
Sussex won two singles matches with both Chapman and Bach winning their matches. Hammond partnering Michaela Ince were the only Sussex pair to win their doubles. Sussex lost six of nine rubbers.
On the third day, Sussex were up against a strong Northumberland team who were already top of the table having only dropped one match against each of Cheshire and Cambridgeshire.
Despite a valiant effort, Sussex lost all their matches. Phillips lost 6-2, 6-4 in her singles against Emma Wilson.
Northumberland won to gain promotion, Cheshire were second and Sussex third.
A few days after the County Cup, Phillips dislocated her knee while training. This is a big setback in her schedule.
The injury will prevent Phillips from competing for at least three months. She is hoping for a quick and full recovery and is keen to start some exercises and fitness once she is pain free and has full movement of her leg.
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