Emily Appleton shines in tennis season opener in Martinique
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 16/01/19 2:42pm
Emily Appleton may have missed out on a place in the singles final having served for the match, but there are plenty of positives from her first ITF event of the year.
The 19-year-old Sky Sports Scholar headed to the French overseas territory Martinique and was able to exhibit a few new tricks and strategy after months of training and in the gym.
Here are Emily's thoughts on busy week in the Caribbean.....
"It has been a good and promising start to 2019, playing my first tournament. I was seeded five and looking to make a strong impression and I did just that - in the single and doubles!
I've made some new additions to my coaching team and we've been working together for the past few months to raise my level on the court and in the gym.
I was feeling ready to compete when I set off for Martinique and eager to try out some things I had been working so hard on during my training block.
In the first round of the singles, I faced a local player from the Caribbean island and I eased through pretty comfortably.
Next up was an experienced French girl who has been around the game for a while and certainly knew her strengths and was very competitive on court.
I fought back from being 4-1 down to win in two straight sets. This really boosted my confidence and enabled me to go into the quarter-final feeling really good and ready to compete.
I was up against the No 2 seed from Greece Eleni Kordolaimi who was ranked over 200 places higher. I played a really high-quality game and was able to put everything out there onto the court and came through 6-0 6-4.
Another French girl seeded four Alice Tubello.was between me and a place in the final. Although I served for the match at 5-4 in the third set I wasn't quite able to close it out and narrowly lost 4-6 6-2 6-7.
This was a tough loss to take but I still came away feeling really good about my game and am going into the next event in Guadeloupe in confident mood.
In the doubles, I teamed up with an American girl Dalayna Hewitt and we won through three rounds beating a solid team in the semi-final.
In the final, we faced a strong pair and again narrowly missed out on the title, losing 4-6 6-3 4-10. Despite not getting our hands on the title I was again happy with my performance.
This was a really positive start to the new year and I'm really excited about the next few weeks and months where I am looking to continue improving.