The fourth event of the 2023 LTA Performance Competition Calendar at the University of Bath concluded over the weekend with six Brits in finals action at the men’s and women’s combined $50,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event.
LTA tournaments such as Bath are about providing British players with the chance to develop on home soil through more meaningful playing opportunities, giving all players the widest possible number of competitive matches on the ITF World Tennis Tour.
In the all-British men’s doubles final, Scott Duncan (Scotland North) and Marcus Willis (Warwickshire)won their fifth title together since last September, defeating the number two seeds Ben Jones and Daniel Little (Sussex) 63 64. On their way to the final, top seeds Duncan and Willis, impressively did not drop a single set and defeated four other British pairs. This title win marks Duncan’s eight and Willis’ 33rd ITF World Tour doubles title overall.
Reflecting on the win Willis said “Delighted to win this week with Scott, that’s two titles already this year. We are really knocking on the door to play some challengers now which is where we want to be. It’s been a strong week. We won every match in straights, we’ve been pretty solid. It’s a lovely event here in Bath. Duncan added “It’s a lovely tennis centre, it’s nice to play here.”
Maia Lumsden (Scotland West) was the only British woman to make it through to the quarterfinals after defeating Eden Silva (Essex) in straight sets. Lumsden lost out in the following round to Tereza Smitkova (Czech Republic) 76(7) 62 who made the final but lost out to fellow Czech Rebecca Sramkova 62 62. Sramkova had an impressive run to the final, defeating top seed Sonay Kartal (Sussex)in the round of 16 in three sets.
Champion Sramkova reflected on her ITF25 win saying: “I have very tough matches this week, nearly three hours every match, so very well deserve tournament, I had surgery last year so it means a lot to me winning this event and I hope we will be back here next year, and I am looking forward to the next event in Glasgow.”
In the women’s doubles finals, number one seeds Emily Appleton (Surrey) and Dutch partner Isabelle Haverlag lost out to Lauryn John-Baptiste (Middlesex) and Katarina Stresnakova (Slovakia) 76(4) 64. This is John-Baptiste’s biggest doubles title of her career thus far, having previously won three W15 events.