Seeds tumble as Pippa storms to title
TENNIS ace Pippa Horn recorded an incredible result at the AEGON 18/under Junior National Championships.The Wymondham College pupil beat the top three seeds to win the singles title before narrowly missing out in the doubles final at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
TENNIS ace Pippa Horn recorded an incredible result at the AEGON 18/under Junior National Championships.
The Wymondham College pupil beat the top three seeds to win the singles title before narrowly missing out in the doubles final at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Pippa, just 14 years old, was given a wildcard into the event and took full advantage as a run of wins took her to the singles final where she defeated top seed Jennifer Ren of Yorkshire 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
In the semi-final, Horn had ousted Jessica Ren (Jennifer's sister), the number 3 seed, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 in a topsy-turvy encounter.
The final began slowly for Pippa as she found herself a break down at 2-3, but the Norfolk youngster found her rhythm to reel off four straight games, eventually serving out the first set 6-3. Jennifer seized the early second set initiative but the weather intervened and play was suspended with the top seed leading 3-0.
A half-hour rain delay worked in Pippa's favour as she won four games on the trot to lead 4-3 with a break of serve when the players returned. Her 17-year-old rival regained her composure however, breaking Pippa twice to take the second set 6-4.
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New balls in the final set were always likely to favour the 14-year-old's heavy hitting and sure enough Pippa found herself a double break up at 3-0. A brief fight-back was halted as the Norfolk ace pressed home her advantage to seal the national title with impressive maturity.
Pippa had beaten both Ren sisters and second seed Lucy Brown en route to the triumph.
After her singles final, Pippa teamed up with Amy Hoburn of Northumberland for the doubles final but fell to Jessica Ren and Ruth Seaborne 7-6, 6-1. The last few months have been tremendous for Pippa who has captured two ITF Singles titles and seen her junior world ranking improve to 352.
Pippa said: 'It's a huge win for me and gives me enormous confidence as I start to think about improving my world ranking in order to play in junior grand slams next year.'
Whilst Pippa's mother Judy was courtside for the final, her father Mike was stuck in Norfolk at the dentist's. 'My dad was relying on text messages from people who were following the match on the website so he was really nervous and had no idea what was going on a lot of the time,' she joked.
Pippa has elected to take some time off now: 'I was supposed to play in Belgium but I decided against it, so I'm going to play mixed doubles with my brother Charlie at the Norfolk Closed for a bit of fun,' she said.