Ilkley tournament sees defeat for America bound member

HOME membership member JB Pickard has blamed poor serving, fairly than nerves, for his first-round defeat within the LTA British Tour event at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

The 18-year-old fourth seed was crushed 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) by born-again qualifier Dan Bennett.

Pickard, who heads to Samford University in Alabama this autumn, admitted: “I felt like I used to be hitting it properly however one thing was lacking.

“A number of quick balls on huge factors that I’d usually make, I used to be simply lacking them.

“I don’t know why as a result of I wasn’t feeling nervous or tight or something. Maybe it was a lack of focus.”

The match began on grass, however was transferred indoors after rain when Bennett, who has misplaced eight-and-a-half stone in two-and-a-half years by health club work and weight-reduction plan, was main 6-3, 2-1.

Pickard added: “I felt a bit higher on exhausting indoors however my first set was horrible on the grass.

“I undoubtedly hit double-digit double faults . . . two a recreation, which isn’t good for one set.

“You can’t actually count on to win a set enjoying like that, and within the second set I used to be placing in semi-second serves, so I received extra in however simply didn’t fairly do it on the large factors.”

He hopes that getting extra competitors beneath his belt will assist him, confessing: “Practice has been good however I haven’t performed many matches, so just a few extra matches and I’ll begin shifting in the suitable course.

“I’ll have a British Tour event in Nottingham in a few weeks’ time.”

As for the longer term, Pickard mentioned: “I’ve simply completed A-Levels in maths, physics and economics at Rossett School in Harrogate.

“The outcomes don’t actually matter as a result of I’m going to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama for 4 years, majoring in economics.

“At the second I’m simply concentrating on college and can take it from there.”

Bennett, from Sunderland, wasn’t the one qualifier to progress as Norfolk’s Frederick Withers beat fellow qualifier Alexsandar Andic from London 6-0, 6-3.

In the ladies’s singles qualification, Sheffield’s Esther Jones, who’s 21 and was seeded seventeenth, misplaced within the ultimate spherical 6-3, 6-1 to fifth seed Alaia Rubio Perez.

In the second qualifying spherical, fellow Steel City gamers Eleanore Lake and Sarah Copley had been crushed.

Lake, 19, from Hallam Grange, misplaced 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 to fifteenth seed Elina Silins, whereas Copley, 14, from Graves, fell 5-7, 6-3 (10-6) to 3rd seed Halle Pringle, who went on to qualify.

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