Esther Adeshina features in four finals

First published in Tennis by , Sports Reporter

BASINGSTOKE’S young tennis ace Esther Adeshina finished her season in great style by reaching four finals at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Junior County Closed – and winning two of them.

The 10-year-old who had just returned from represent¬ ing Great Britain in an inter¬ national event in Belgium, competed in the under-12, under-14 Girls Singles, the under-14 Girls Doubles and under-18 Mixed Doubles at the Winchester Tennis & Squash Club.

The St Bede’s Primary School pupil won the under- 12 singles and under-14 dou¬ bles events and was the beat¬ en finalist in the under-14 girls’ singles and under-18 mixed doubles. In the under-12 singles, Adeshina was seeded two in a eight-girl compass draw, defeating Emily Wilkinson and Mary Strevens in straight sets 6-1 6-0 and 6-0 6-0 respectively in the quarter- final and semi-final stages.

This set up a final against number one seed Freya Davies. Both girls held their serve in the first four games of the first set, until Esther broke the Davies serve and reeled off four straight games to take the set 6-2.

Both girls played really well, but the Basingstoke player dominated the match, converting all break points, holding her serves and, without dropping a game, took the second set 6-0.

Adeshina and Davies then paired up together to com¬ pete in the under-14 doubles, defeating Millie Coombes and Sian Perry 6-1 6-1 in the semi- final to set up a final match with top seeds Eleanor Millard and Kirsty McCulloch.

The younger pair of Adeshina and Davies won the first set 6-4, but lost the sec¬ ond set 3-6. With each team having a set, they had to play a deciding 10-point match tie- break which Adeshina and Davies won 10-7 to clinch the title.

In the under-14 singles the Basingstoke player faced players a lot older than her, but sailed through the first two rounds, defeating Bibiana Shea 4-0 4-0 and second seed Joanna Tomlinson by the same scoreline.

Adeshina then beat Alice Wilkinson in the semis 6-1 6-0 to set up a final with the number one seed, Eleanor Millard. This was a close encounter, however the much older Millard proved too strong for Adeshina as she broke her opponent’s serve at 4-4 in the first and second sets, winning the match with a 6-4 6-4 score line.

Adeshina then teamed up with Wilson Neaves, with whom she trains at David Lloyd Southampton, for the junior mixed doubles event. They were the second seeds for the event, and their opponents in the semi-finals were Matthew Lee and Alice Wilkinson, whom they had met individually in the sin¬ gles events.

Adeshina and Neaves took the first set 6-3 only for Lee and Wilkinson to level the match.

As in the under-14 girls doubles, a deciding 10-point match time-break had to be played which the David Lloyd pair won 10-6.

The final against Eleanor Millard and Noah Bradwell proved to be another tight battle with Adeshina and Neaves just losing out 6-3 1-6 10-12.

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