FELPHAM tennis ace Lisa Phillips was delighted to play at the prestigious Aegon British Tour Masters.
Thirty two women, including eight who have a world ranking, converged on the Nottingham Tennis Centre, having qualified by gaining sufficient points in British Tour events throughout the year.
Sixteen-year-old Phillips was unable to play in the British Tour before August because of school and injury, but still managed to accumulate enough points in the latter part of the year to make the cut.
Phillips’ first-round match was against Sian Green who has a GB ladies open ranking of 59 and a 3.2 rating.
Phillips got off to a slow start and went 4-1 down in the first set, but fought back against the Essex player and clawed the games back to win the first set 7-6 in a two-hour battle, before going on to win the second set 6-1 to win the match.
In the next round, Phillips faced the number one seed, Oxford’s 23-year-old Lucy Brown, who is ranked nine nationally for women and has a world ranking of 596. Phillips stayed in the rallies and aced Brown twice in succession and managed to get a couple of games but lost 6-2, 6-0.
Phillips’ performance at the British Tour at Loughborough University gained her a much-needed boost of 400 points by getting into the quarter final of the tier-one event.
She beat Yasmina El Sayed, who has a GB ladies open ranking of 72, 6-2, 6-2.
In the quarter final, Phillips struggled throughout the match against Warwickshire’s Alannah Griffin and lost a disappointing 6-1. 6-1.
Ranking points gained at Nottingham and Loughborough inches Phillips further up the women’s ranking to 66 in Great Britain and second in Sussex.
She said: “My target was to play in the Masters next year so I’m really happy that I had enough points to play in it a year earlier than expected.
“Progress up the rankings will be slow now but my next target is to be ranked in the top 50 women in Great Britain”.