Lisa Phillips is over the moon at achieving a tennis world ranking – a lifetime dream.
Phillips is ranked at No952 in doubles for women, having gained 15 points at an International Challenger event in Surbiton on top of one point gained previously.
Phillips, from Felpham, is the only woman in Sussex to have a world ranking and is 26th in the UK. She started to compete on the international circuit only last year and is a relative newcomer to this standard of play.
The starlet set herself a target of getting a world ranking this year, a huge milestone but something she felt she could achieve.
Phillips partnered Natalie Hepburn from Plymouth in the Surbiton Trophy, a highly-regarded tournament on the ITF challenger circuit for both men and women.
Many players compete to fine-tune their grass court game for Queens, Edgbaston and Wimbledon.
Tennis stars who have previously played at the event include Billie-Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
In the first round of the main draw, Phillips and Hepburn faced Lily Ghodrati and Lauren Harrington, both 2.2-rated and from Surrey.
Phillips and her partner won the first set 6-1 but lost the second 6-0. In a nail-biting tie-break, Phillips and Hepburn edged ahead to win 10-6.
In the quarter-finals, Phillips and Hepburn faced No1 seeds An-Sophie Mestach from Belgium and Maria Sanchez from USA. They have a world ranking of 89 and 65 so were far more experienced than the British teenagers.
The British duo struggled to get on the scoreboard, losing the first set 6-0, but they managed to scrape a couple of games to lose the next set 6-2. Despite the loss, the teenagers were ecstatic that they had gained enough points for a world ranking.
In the qualifying round of the singles, Phillips faced Holly Hutchinson, who has a GB singles ranking of No26. A close first set provided Phillips with chances but the more experienced Essex player secured it 7-5 and went on to win the second set 6-0, despite Phillips getting to deuce in all but one of the games.
Phillips and her partner played one of their matches next to the men’s doubles where both Dan Evans (GB Davis Cup champion) and Dustin Brown (Grand Slam player) were battling it out with their respective partners.
With many spectators watching and the Davis Cup on display, it all added to the occasion for the Felpham teenager.
Phillips said: “My next aim is to get a singles world ranking and improve my doubles world ranking. I played in some international events in Antalya earlier this year and narrowly lost two of my doubles matches in a tie-break and therefore missed out on gaining some ranking points.
“The experience I gained at this level helped me to develop my game further and it is important for me to gain more experience at such a high level.”
Chichester Rotary Club helped Phillips with some expenses earlier in the year and Game, Set and Match have helped her with tennis kit.
Phillips is trying to get sponsorship to enable her to play in two more international tournaments in September. See www.lisaphillips.co.uk
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