By Glenys Furness
- Oli Golding made the final in Nottingham
- Came through qualifying without dropping a set
- Ended a good tournament as the runner up
NOTTINGHAM, UK – Oli Golding has made a successful return to tennis after a three year gap. Winning a title in Italy and following up with a runner up spot in Nottingham.
Brit of the Week
Oli Golding has ended a successful couple of weeks with a title and a runner up spot on his return to tennis. In 2014 the then 20-year-old decided to take a break from professional tour tennis, having been the youngest British junior No. 1 and in 2011 won the US Open Boys’ Singles title.
Golding was not enjoying the sport anymore, which was partly to do with reductions in the LTA funding and the closure of the high performance programme at the National Tennis in Richmond – he would have needed to move to France to continue in top flight tennis, but disliked travelling. In 2015 he was helping out at his mother’s tennis coaching school.
The Brit first looked into a comeback in August, and went to Italy to take part in the Futures event in Piombino. Coming through qualifying without dropping a set, Golding was in the main draw and took on the top seed in the first round. The Brit defeated Yaraslav Shyla from Belarus in straight sets, having been pushed to a tiebreak in the second. The next seed Golding came up against was in the semi-final where the Brit was against Igor Smilansky of Israel. The fourth seed pushed Golding to a breaker in the first set but ultimately lost in straight sets, the final saw Golding play the eighth seed Davide Gallopini of Italy. Once again Golding was pushed to a tiebreak in the first set, but again won in straight sets to claim the title.
In Nottingham, Golding again had to come through qualifying, and once again did so without dropping a set. In the first round he drew fellow Brit Brandon Murphy. Golding continued from where he had left off in Italy and broke Murphy early in the first set, the second was tighter, but Golding managed to break right at the end to seal the win and move into the second round 6-3, 7-5
The second round and Golding drew the eighth seed, another Brit Jonathan Gray. Golding had very little trouble from his counterpart and dropped only four games all match. The unseeded Brit was moving onto the quarter-final without any difficulty 6-1, 6-3
In the quarter-final Golding was against another unseeded Brit Ryan Peniston. This proved to be his most difficult match so far with Peniston being the first player to take a set from Golding. However, the returning Brit was not done yet, and fought back to take the second set and third sets and book a semi-final spot 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
The semi-final saw the Brit against the sixth seed Evan Furness. The French player who had faced a very long hard match in the quarter-final against the top seed, retired when the Brit was 5-4 up in the first set. Meaning that Golding had made it to the final.
The final saw Golding against the third seed Lloyd Glasspool. Golding broke the seed in the first set and had the lead. Glasspool though fought back in the match and levelled up taking the second set to make a one set shoot out for the title. Both players wanted the title, and Glasspool broke right at the end to seal the win 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
ITF & Challenger Round Up
Evan Hoyt, Sean Hodkin, Mason Recci, Neil Pauffley, Billy Harris, Robert Carter, Ryan Storrie, Marshall Tutu, Alexis Canter & James Markiewicz all lost in the first round at Nottingham.
Joshua Paris lost to Furness in the second round 6-0, 6-4
Luke Johnson lost in the second round of Nottingham 6-7(4), 3-6
Finn Bass lost in the semi-final to Glasspool 7-6(1), 6-2
Luke Bambridge lost in the second round in Cary 6-1, 6-4
Brydan Klein lost in the first round in Cary 6-2. 7-6(5)
Alexander Ward lost in the first round in Cary 6-3, 6-2
Cameron Norrie lost in the final in Cary 6-3, 6-1
Katie Swan retired in the semi-final in Redding California 1-4
Harriet Dart lost in the second round in Redding 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-7(5)
Katie Boulter lost in the first round in Las Vegas 6-3, 6-2
Laura Robson lost in the second round in Las Vegas 7-5, 6-2
Next week Brits play in Columbus, Izmir, Seoul, Toyko, St Petersburg, Metz, Tampico & Lubbock
Main Image: Rex Features/Shutterstock
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