Hampshire County Cup Call Up For Hignett

Performance player and assistant coach Liam Hignett was part of the Hampshire & IOW Mens team that competed in the LTA Winter County Cup 2018 held at Hills Road Sports and Tennis Centre in Cambridge at the end of last month.

Hignett (pictured front left) was joined in the Hampshire team by Julian Godfrey, Robert Mitchell, Ryan Golesworthy, George Houghton, Michael Johnson, Paul Scullard, Jake Norris and Austin Gwilliam who completed in the Mens Group 4b competition against teams from Durham & Cleveland, Leicestershire and the Channel Islands.

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On the first day the Hampshire team were up against the Durham & Cleveland team and lost 6-3. Hignett won his singles match 6-2, 6-2 but lost his doubles match with partner Jake Norris 6-3, 6-4. Day two was much better result with Hampshire beating Leicestershire 6-3. Hignett won his singles and his doubles match with Norris with both matches having the same 6-3, 6-2 scoreline.

On the final day Hampshire notched up another win against the Channel Islands 5-1. Hignett maintained his singles clean sheet winning his final match 6-4, 6-0 and was not required to play his doubles match with Norris as the tie was already decided. Overall the team finished in second place with four points and retained their position in the league while winners Durham & Cleveland, with six points, gained promotion.

Hignett also competed in the Open Mens Singles at the LTA British Tour Edgbaston 2 held at The Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham. Sixth seed Hignett beat Benjamin Stanford in the first round 6-2, 6-1 and then Alex Griffiths in the second round  7-6(4), 6-3 but then lost in the quarters to fifth seed Matthew Hollingworth.

 

 

 

 

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Hignett Competes in ITF Futures Events

Performance player Liam Hignett, who is now coaching at the club during his gap year, is competing in a series of high profile and ITF (International Tennis Federation) pro-circuits tournaments across the country.

His first event at the beginning of the month was the LTA British Tour Paddington Open Mens Singles held at Paddington Sports Club. In the first round Hignett beat eighth seed Jack Gibbens 6-4, 6-4 followed by Jamie Caprice 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the quarters before losing in the semi finals against Sean Hodkin 6-2, 7-5.

He then starting competing in the ITF Futures events. His first event was the Great Britain F4 Futures event held at Nottingham Tennis Centre where he lost in the first round of singles qualifying draw against George Davies 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 7-5. The second tournament was the F5 Futures event held at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, London where he lost to Jonathon Binding in the first round of the singles qualifying 6-3, 7-6(6). This coming week he will play in the F6 Futures tournament in Barnstaple at the Tarka Tennis Centre.

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Hignett, who is current Hampshire & IOW County Championships Men’s champion, will be coaching at Totally Tennis sharing his experience and expertise with both adult and junior players as well as offering private lessons and hitting sessions for performance players looking for that extra practice. He will also be studying for his LTA level 3 coach qualification and continuing to run competitions at the club.

Read more about Hignett’s gap year plans here 

Dean Cooper Kirby Wins Doubles Title With Leo Borg, Son of Tennis Legend Björn

Performance player and Sherfield School Tennis Scholar Dean Cooper Kirby and his Swedish partner Leo Borg, son of Tennis legend Björn Borg, won the Boys Doubles 16 and under title at the Reykjavik Open held last week at the Viking Tennis Club in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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The pair, who were top seeds in the latest Tennis Europe event, beat Daniils Snaiders and Markuss Tions from Latvia 6 – 3, 6 – 1 in the quarters followed by a three-set win against Tobias Bo Kudsk (Denmark) and Karol Szczap (Poland) in the semis 4-6, 6-2, 10-7. In the final they faced second seed and Cooper Kirby’s partner from the last doubles event in Iceland Mark Owen Endler (Germany) and his partner Nicolas Moser (Austria) and beat them in another three battle 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 to win the event.

In the singles, Cooper Kirby was third seed and after a bye in the first round he beat Yaroslav Kostyuk from Russia in the second round 7-6(1), 7-5 and seventh seed Tions (Latvia) in the quarters 6-0, 7-5. Top seed and eventual winner Borg then knocked Cooper Kirby out of the competition in the semis 6 – 0, 6 – 4. Borg beat second seed Moser in the final 6 -0, 6 – 3 to win his second title of the tournament.

Congratulations to Dean and Leo for winning the Doubles title 🙂

 

Winners and Runners-Up Trophies For Cooper Kirby in Iceland

Dean Cooper Kirby travelled to Iceland for his latest Tennis Europe tournament accompanied on this occasion by his Totally Tennis coach, Jordan Frederick. This was the first time that both Cooper Kirby and Frederick had visited Iceland and both were amazed by the extreme weather and lack of darkness.

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The Kópavogur Open 16 and under tournament was held at Tennishöllin in Kopavogi, home to the country’s only three indoor courts. After a bye in the first round, Cooper Kirby who was fourth seed, beat Jonathan Sund Nordahl from Denmark 6-3, 7-5 to find himself in the quarters up against seventh seed, a hard hitting Russian named Dmitrii Ivanov whom he defeated 6-2, 6-3.

In the semis, he faced top seed Maximilian Homberg but he was not deterred coming back from 5-4 down in the first set to win 7-5, 6-3 overall. This important win placed Cooper Kirby in his ever Tennis Europe final and he was up against second seed Nicolas Moser who was the stronger player winning the match and the title 7-5, 6-2 and Cooper Kirby took the very respectable runners-up position.

In the doubles, Cooper Kirby teamed up with Mark Owen Endler from Germany and they beat fellow Brit Cameron Timlin and his Danish partner Nordahl in the quarters 6-1, 6-4 and then defeated another Brit Zachary Cox and his partner Ivo Isqueiro from Portugal in a tougher semi-final encounter 7-6(5), 2-6, 10-5. In the final it was retribution time for Cooper Kirby who along with Endler beat the pairing of Homberg/Moser 7-5, 6-3 to win the event.

07F86D2C-5816-4242-B87A-8F168EE6A424Frederick said. ” Dean did well to reach both finals after defeating the number one seed in both cases. This tournament was a great learning curve and a very good result to be walking away with a doubles win and runner up in the singles. Great effort Dean!

Congratulations Dean!
Read more about Dean Cooper Kirby’s Tennis Europe and Florida training in previous posts here

Isla Wins at the Bradfield Open

Performance player Isla Hignett won the 18 and under Girls singles title at Bradfield 2018 May Open last Friday. The Grade 4 event, which was held on the Bradfield Tennis Club’s clay courts, was played in the compass fast 4 format.

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Second seed Hignett was joined in the draw by club mate Tillie Reid and former club mate Nina Williams. In the quarters Hignett beat Marta Poriete 4-1, 4-1followed by Reid in the semis 4-0, 4-1 and then defeated top seed Maisie Smith in three sets in the final  2-4,4-2,10-1 to win the event and ass yet  another trophy to her growing collection.

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Reid beat Williams in the quarters 4-0, 4-2 and finished a very respectable fourth overall after losing to  Sofia Lejonvarn 4-1, 4-0 in the third/fourth playoff match.  Williams went on to win the consolation event.

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Isla’s mum Donella said ‘ “Isla played really well and although she had lost the first set 4-2 in the final, she pulled it back in the second set to win 4-2 and played an awesome tie break to win 10-1.”

Club mate Kirsty Da Silva was top seed in the 14 and under Girls singles event where she lost in the quarters against eventual winner Serena Manca in three sets 3-4(2), 4-3(1), 10-5.

 

 

 

LTA Summer Tournaments at Totally Tennis

Performance player Liam Hignett is running a series of Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) tournaments at Totally Tennis this summer.

The first two events are now open for entries (click on the links below to enter)

Saturday 30th June – 16U Boys and Girls Doubles (Grade 4)

16U Doubleshttps://www3.lta.org.uk/Competitions/Competition/?ctn=1-FKZ5P80

Sunday 1st July – 12U Boys and Girls Singles (Grade 5)

12U Singles – https://www3.lta.org.uk/Competitions/Competition/?ctn=1-FKZEKOA

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Further tournaments will be held in July and August as per the table above – for more information visit www3.lta.org.uk/competitions
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Cooper Kirby Returns From Florida To Contest European Tournaments

Totally Tennis performance player and Sherfield School Tennis Scholar Dean Cooper Kirby is back from his month’s training at the Gomez Tennis Academy in Florida and is already competing again in Europe. After his intense Florida training routine, where he played five hours of tennis and as well as an additional two and half hours of fitness/core training everyday, he is well prepared for the summer tennis season.

After his success winning his first Florida tournament Naples, the Spring Tropical Junior, he competed in another 16 and under event but was knocked out in the quarter final stages by a fellow Gomez Academy player. His opponent has been playing at the academy on a full time basis for the last four years but that didn’t deter Cooper Kirby from putting up a good fight, he won the first set, lost the second and then lost match tie-breaker 10-4.

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Brian Cooper Kirby said, ” Dean played a full-time academy player, who is due to start playing in ITF’s this year, at the beginning of his Florida training and he lost 4-2 but by the end of his stay he won 4-2 which is great progress.”

With little time to get customized back to the UK timezone Cooper Kirby was straight off to Cyprus where he was accepted straight into the main draw of his first 16 and under Grade 2 Tennis Europe event at the Herodotou Tennis Academy in Larnaca. He faced a tough first round opponent in Jaime Faria from Portugal who had previously beaten players Cooper Kirby had lost against so he knew it would not be easy. Although he lost the match 6-2, 6-2 he learnt a lot especially that it will take time to master the new techniques he learnt in Florida in match environments.

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He also played in the doubles with his German partner Mark Owen Endler who trains full-time in Tenerife. The pair (pictured above) reached the semi-finals after beating Cypriot duoAndreas Lottides/Stavros Pamboris in the first round 6-1, 6-2 followed by Ioannis Kountourakis/Evangelos Kypriotis from Greece 6-2, 4-6, 10-8. They lost in the semis against eventual winners Nikita Petrusenko/Justas Trainauskas from Lithuania 7-6(6), 6-2. 

The semi final placing gained Dean another 20 points. He now has a total of 135 points and his ranking has moved from 661th to 575th. Within the group of UK players who compete in Tennis Europe events Cooper Kirby is now 17th on the leaderboard. As well as his Tennis Europe Ranking Cooper Kirby also has a Race to Masters ranking which is the ranking used for draws/selection that shows the current form of any player (in week 12/2018 he was 98th in Europe which accounts for his direct acceptances into tournament main draws). In the 16 and under category, after his recent semi-final position in the doubles, he is currently ranked 102nd in Europe with 110 points.

Cooper Kirby is looking for funding for his European Tournaments – read more about Dean in previous blog posts here

Visit Cooper Kirby’s GoFundMe page here for more information and his latest news and updates.