Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, 2022 BUCS Singles Champion
On the first weekend of April, the University of Nottingham had representatives in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Tennis Singles Championships Finals held at Loughborough University. Taking place over three days (Friday 1st through Sunday 3rd), the university entered the tournament with a strong chance of progressing well through the knockout format with the number one and three seeds in the men's singles draw with Aziz Kijametovic and Patrick Foley respectively, as well as the number two seed in the women's singles draw in Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.
In the men's competition, Aziz endured a comfortable Saturday winning both of his matches by two sets to love, and without dropping more than three games in any set to advance to Sunday's semi finals and claim at least a bronze medal. Patrick Foley faced a tough opening match on Friday afternoon, coming from one set down to win two sets to one, but then had a straightforward Saturday winning both of his matches two sets to love to advance to the semi finals alongside his University of Nottingham team mate. Unfortunately Patrick would come up against the number two seed in University of Stirling's Ewan Moore in the semi final on Sunday, and depsite a spirited effort lost out by two sets to love. However, Patrick's brilliant performances over the weekend meant that he would claim a BUCS bronze medal. For Aziz, Sunday began with a tough semi final match against fourth seed Michael Shaw of Loughborough University. The match began with an excellent first set which the Nottingham man claimed through a tie break, but the second set would see Kijametovic blast into the final with a convincing six games to one set, and a two sets to love win. In the final, it would be Foley's conqueror Moore who Kijametovic would face in a bid to claim the championship. In a riveting match, it would unfortunately be the Stirling player who would come out on top, managing to win both sets by six games to four and claiming the gold, whilst Aziz's efforts saw a silver medal placed around his neck after the one hour and thirty-three minute final.
As second seed in the women's draw Noppawan Lertcheewakarn opened her competition on the Saturday and looked every bit the championship contender by winning both of her matches by two sets to love, and six-love and six-two in the sets. These fantastic performances saw the #GreenandGold scholar into Sunday's semi final where she would face third seed Gabriela Knutson of Durham. Continuing her brilliant form in the tournament, Noppawan won the first set without dropping a game, before Knutson fought hard in the second taking the set all the way to a tie-break. Ultimately Noppawan held her nerve and claimed the second set and the match to move into the final. The final would see the top two seeds in the championship face each other for the championship and whilst her opponent Emily Arbuthnott of Cambridge was classed as the higher seed, Noppawan would come out on top comfortably in both sets to claim the gold! The final would see multiple lengthy rallies with the Nottingham player victorious in many, winning the first set six-three and then the second six-two to be crown BUCS Singles Champion! Congratulations Noppawan!
The University of Nottingham was very well represented in both draws, not only by our medallists but by many other players who gave their all for the #GreenandGold. Competing in the men's draw, Luis Humberto Lopez played a huge role in an epic two hour and forty minute match in the round of sixteen but ultimately lost two sets to one. After a win in the round of thirty-two Jamie Crowfoot had a tricky draw facing the fourth seed in the round of sixteen, and went out at that stage alongside Arran Trainor who had won his round of thirty-two match two sets to love. Representing the university in the women's draw alongside Noppawan was Camila Vargas, Savannah Yardley, Annemarie Emme, Emma Sawkings, and Maisie and Milly Wood. Camila and Maisie exited in the round of thirty-two, whilst Milly advanced to round of sixteen before being beaten by the fourth seed. Emma Sawkings, Savannah Yardley and Annemarie Emme all made it through to Saturday's play, before exiting in the round of sixteen. In Annemarie's case, this was through a mammoth two and a half hour match that she would unfortunately lose two sets to one.
We thank all of our representatives across the weekend on their fantastic efforts and congratulate our medallists on their superb achievements.
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Posted on Wednesday 6th April 2022