British Tour Masters 2019: Champions crowned at National Tennis Centre
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Alicia Barnett and Sean Hodkin were in fantastic form to conclude their 2019 seasons with British Tour Masters trophies.
The tournament, which was held at London's National Tennis Centre for the first time, welcomed the top eight men and women from the 2019 British Tour to compete in the year-end finale. The event took place on the newly refurbished indoor courts on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 December.
After two days of high-quality action, Gloucestershire’s Barnett and Lincolnshire’s Hodkin were crowned champions, both walking away with prize money of £3,000.
Barnett went in to the tournament as the No.1 seed, and lived up to that billing with two straight sets wins to progress to the final, where she prevailed in a hard fought match against Nottinghamshire's Freya Christie to seal the title 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.
Following the win, the 26 year-old said: “I’m delighted to win my first British Tour Masters title. The final was a real battle against a good friend, however, it was really pleasing to come through it. The second set tie-break was crucial – the Tie Break Tens event on Wednesday night proved really good preparation for that situation. It’s now time for a much needed rest ahead of 2020’’
Like Barnett, Hodkin went into the men’s draw as the top seeded player, and progressed to the final without dropping a set. The 21 year-old then overcame the challenge of Yorkshire's Clay Crawford 6-3, 7-6(3) to reclaim the title he won back in 2017.
Speaking after the win, Hodkin said: ‘’It was a pleasure to appear in my 3rd British Tour Masters final in a row, and second title. It was an interesting test with the prize money on offer and not necessarily about who plays the best tennis but who produces under pressure. Along with winning the 2019 bonus pool the prize money will really help with competing abroad next year’’
Check out the full results here.
Tie Break Tens
Following in the footsteps of Tie Break Tens tournaments taking place alongside ATP and WTA events around the world, a Tie Breaks Tens event was staged on the eve of the British Tour Masters.
All 16 British Tour Masters players got involved in the fun, fast-paced tournament - complete with a courtside DJ - with Alicia Barnett and Clay Crawford coming out on top.
Richard Joyner, LTA Tournament Director, said: “The LTA wants to open up tennis to new audiences, and one of the ways we are doing that is by working with innovative formats of the game. This has been one of many successful events on which we have collaborated with TB10s this year and, having spoken to a number of the players who played, I know they really enjoyed experiencing Tie Break Tens for the first time.”
Rachel Woodward, Tie Break Tens Marketing Director, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the LTA on this new tournament and it was a fantastic curtain-raiser to the long-established British Tour Masters Finals. This is one of several initiatives we devised with the LTA in 2019, aimed at integrating the TB10 format into more traditional tennis environments and therefore opening the door to new audiences.”