Tennis: Phillips turns up the heat in Croatia
Soaring heat in excess of 30C meant conditions were exhausting in the women’s ITF event in Bol, Croatia, for Felpham’s Lisa Phillips and her opponent Sofia Sharonova.
The Russian won the first set 11-9 in the tie-break but Phillips snatched the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 to take the match.
Phillips, who is sponsored by Game, Set and Match said: “The aim was to win quickly as I knew the conditions would make it tough for us both. This didn’t quite go to plan when I lost the first set.
“After the match I was cramping all over despite my best efforts to replace fluids and electrolytes during play. It was a tough match but a great experience.” Phillips had another win on the clay courts in Croatia beating 20-year-old American Madison Crawford with a convincing win by 6-2, 6-0. She also faced 17-year-old Tamara Kupkova, who had previously played in the Junior Fed Cup.
The Slovakian attacked with an unusual double-handed forehand and eased ahead to win 6-2, 6-1.
Phillips has proved she is capable of playing at an international level and will be hoping to build on her success by gaining more experience at home and abroad in these events.
Phillips’ improving form has been recognised with her latest success in achieving a 2.2 rating. The 18-year-old easily secured enough wins but then had to maintain a 60 per cent win/loss ratio to guarantee this phenomenal success.
In Great Britain, just two other girls in Phillips’ year of birth have a higher rating. Phillips’ 2.2 rating has the added bonus of providing her with easier access to the ITF events.
Phillips has steadily progressed thorough the LTA ratings since she first started competing eight years ago. Phillips said: “I really didn’t expect to reach a 2.2 rating this year. My tennis is continuing to improve so I am confident even more results will come”.
For further details of Phillips’ progress or if you would like tennis coaching from her, see www.lisaphillips.co.uk
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