Stewart and Rylatt win TS Open Tour Finals, title for MacKinlay and Junior success
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Hamish Stewart and Hannah Rylatt ended the Scottish domestic year in style as they won the 2023 TS Open Tour Finals.
The 16-player events at the University of Stirling saw both finals contested by the top two seeds, with Stewart seeing off his compatriot Ewen Lumsden in three sets, while Rylatt beat Teodora Prisadnikova in two.
Stewart, ranked 651 in the world after an impressive year on the domestic and international tours, battled back from a set and break down to take the second on a tie-break before pulling away from Lumsden in the third to seal a 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory.
“Really happy to get the win today,” said top seed Stewart, who reached the final after wins over Finlay Watters and Jed Alexander, before enjoying a walkover in the semis when Ewan Moore withdrew through injury.
“Ewen was playing some really good tennis, but fortunately I was able to get through the second set and maybe he was struggling a bit more than me because he played this morning [in the semis].
"I can’t thank Tennis Scotland enough for putting on these events, which really does support our journey as professional players and I look forward to playing again next year.”
Rylatt, from the GB National Tennis Academy based in Stirling, knocked out Lucy Beeston and Himo Fernando on the first day of the Finals, before beating Heather Barlow with the loss of only one game in the last four.
In the final, she produced more incredible tennis to beat the top seed and TS Open Tour Leaderboard winner Prisadnikova 6-3, 7-5.
Prisadnikova had earlier come through one of the best matches in the competition as she edged out Molly Robinson over nearly two-and-a-half hours 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 10-7.
“The last two days have been an incredible experience,” said Rylatt. “It’s been nice to play near where I live and get some really good matches in. It was a really good final and a great few days to finish the year before going home for Christmas.”
Stewart and Rylatt both banked £2,000 along with their titles following a thrilling and dramatic year on Scotland’s domestic tennis tour, which was formed by Tennis Scotland in partnership with clubs and organisers as a national structure of competition for yellow-ball players, creating opportunities for all levels of play.
Thanks to new sponsorship, prize pots of up to £7,600 were made available at some events, allowing players to fund their careers both at home and internationally.
Mackinlay doubles up with another title
James Mackinlay bagged his second title in two weeks on the ITF World Tennis Tour, teaming up with Jay Clarke to win the doubles at the M15 Antalya in Turkey.
They beat Bulgarian pair Bogdan Bobrov and Petr Nesterov 6-1, 6-2 to round off a brilliant week in which they dropped only one set.
Elsewhere, Maia Lumsden teamed up with Oksana Kalashnikova to reach the final of the Open BLS de Limoges in France.
They came through two matches in straight sets before falling to Yana Sizikova and Cristina Bucsa 6-4, 6-1.
Junior joy for James
There was Junior success for James Crowther at the LTA Lexus National Tour 9U Grade 2 event.
James enjoyed a brilliant week at Nottingham Tennis Centre, winning six matches en route to the title.
Meanwhile, four young Scots took part at the 10U National Tour event in Corby, with Ben Scott, Frank Atkins, Callum Steven and William Forbes all in action.