Norfolk number one Richard Bloomfield on course for Wimbledon Wild Card Play-Offs
06:30 20 May 2014
Dreams of another shot at Wimbledon glory have moved a step closer for Norfolk number one Richard Bloomfield.
The former world number 176 is comfortably top of the men’s rankings of the Aegon British Tour, after making the final of the latest event in Sutton last week.
Bloomfield, from Alpington near Poringland, won in straight sets against Matthew Porter in the last-16, Ben Draper in the quarter-final and Michael Suleau in the semi-final to reach the final of the tournament in Surrey.
There he came up against Kent number two Matthew Short and lost the first set 6-1, won the second on a tie-break and then the pair agreed to play a championship tie-break to settle the match because of time and weather worries, with Short emerging victorious.
Making the final earned Bloomfield another 565 tour points to put him top of the overall leaderboard, leaving him comfortably in the lead ahead of this week’s tour event in Connaught – the final event before points are tallied up for the Wimbledon Wild Card Play-Offs.
“It’s not definite but it’s looking likely,” Bloomfield said. “I’ve kind of stopped playing professionally the last three months so I’m not sure if I’ll definitely play in the play-offs, but it’s a good chance so I probably will take that.”
The LTA Wimbledon Wild Card Play-Offs will be played on Thursday, June 12 and Friday, June 13 at Aorangi Park at the All England Lawn Tennis Club – the practice courts used for Wimbledon each year.
The final two players from each of the men’s and women’s events will be guaranteed wild cards into the Wimbledon qualifying competition.
Having already played Wimbledon four times, reaching the second round of the men’s singles in 2006, Bloomfield is still targeting another appearance at SW19 in June.
Bloomfield also won the British Tour event in Edgbaston in April, made the final of the tour’s event in Bolton in the same month, comfortably won the tour event at Easton College, near Norwich, in March, and made the semi-finals in Tipton and Warwick.
He added: “I’ve been coaching an 18-year-old lad so I’ve been hitting a lot more than when I got my injury in my back, which meant I spent a lot of my time in the gym working on that rather than on the court for two to four hours a day.
“So it’s good that I’m back to that from hitting with this kid, I’ve almost got my fitness back.”