WEST Hants star Eliz Maloney showed her potential by reaching the final of the invitational girls’ 14-and-under Winter National Tour Finals event at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Maloney, who is ranked third best 14-and-under girl in the UK, didn’t drop a set on the way to the final where she came up against top seed Holly Thompson, from Sussex.In the final, third seed Maloney established a strong lead and took the first set 6-1.
But Thompson fought back to level the scores by winning the second set 6-4.
A tense deciding set followed and it was Thompson who edged it, taking it 6-4 to claim the title.
Maloney’s impressive performance will put her in good stead for the rest of the season.
Making such a strong statement early on in the year will no doubt make her one of the names to watch in 2014.
Winner Thompson also ended the run of another West Hants player, Esther Adeshina, 6-2, 6-2 in the last four.
Adeshina had earlier beaten fourth seed Kate Malazonia (Warwickshire) 6-2 7-6 (1) and Olivia Peet 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
In the boys’ draw, fellow Dorset and West Hants star Harry Butler (pictured above) claimed an early scalp by toppling second seed Jack Draper, from Surrey.
Butler fought back from a set down to win 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-2.
His run, however, ended in the next round when he was beaten in three sets by eventual semi-finalist Aidan McHugh 1-6, 6-0, 6-3.