Norfolk aces display a lot of potential at Grand Prix
Daniel WynneNorfolk youngsters Maria Andrews and Catherine Broster had a successful weekend at the 12 and under Grand Prix Masters event at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, reaching the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.Daniel Wynne
Norfolk youngsters Maria Andrews and Catherine Broster had a successful weekend at the 12 and under Grand Prix Masters event at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, reaching the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.
Both girls had done exceptionally well to even qualify for the Masters event, competing against a field of players mostly at full-time tennis academies.
Andrews' national ranking gave her an all important seeding of fourth for the Masters, the final seeded spot in the field of 16.
She took on Surrey's Olivia Berry in the first round and wasted little time in cruising to a straight sets win 6-1, 6-2.
Unseeded Broster had a more difficult ride against Serena Nash from Yorkshire who took the first set 6-3 against the Norfolk girl. Broster stayed tough in the second set however and levelled the match in a tie-break. An epic Championship tie-break in lieu of a full third set ended 12-10 to Broster and secured her a spot in the last eight alongside Andrews.
The efforts of that opening encounter took their toll on Broster, who competed well but ultimately fell to Hertfordshire's Georgina Axon in straight sets. Axon was already riding high after a first round victory over third seeded Claudia Henry and continued that momentum to seal a
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6-3, 6-1 win.
It was then the turn of Andrews, pictured, to endure a long match in her quarter-final as she took on Darinka Tiboldi of Surrey.
A slow start for the Norfolk No 1 saw her drop the first set 6-1 but her typical fighting spirit on the court soon reversed the score line as she stormed back to force a deciding set.
Now on a roll, Andrews took charge in the tie-break to reach match point at 9-4 before closing it out to book her semi-final berth.
The impressive Maia Lumsden lay in wait after she dispatched both her previous opponents in straight sets.
The No 2 seed from the West of Scotland was too strong on the day for Andrews whose run ended in a
6-1, 6-1 defeat.
The weekend's results were the culmination of a pleasing Grand Prix campaign for both girls.
Broster's quarter-final appearance has seen her rise to 13th in the 12 and under national rankings, while Andrews' points haul has propelled her to the No 5 spot.
The pair are ranked first and second in Norfolk and were part of the 12 and under girls team that claimed the silver medal at the County Cup last year.
Andrews, who attends Town Close school, is supported by the Norfolk County Council and SportsAid Eastern.
As with all young tennis prospects, the understanding and support of the school is vital and Andrews thanks Town Close for their continued help.