Thursday, February 23, 2012
Richard Bloomfield lost in the final of a $15,000 futures tournament in Zagreb – his best result on the ITF circuit in 2012 so far.
Alpington’s Bloomfield strung four wins together to reach the final, where he lost to Marek Michalicka after leading by a set. The Norfolk man had looked on course for victory after taking the opening set 6-3, but Michalicka, who ousted top seed Josh Goodall from Hampshire early on, came storming back to take the next two 6-2, 6-0.
Despite the defeat, it was an encouraging week for Bloomfield, who upset second seed Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in his first match of the week. The 28-year-old from Alpington showed glimpses of his old self as he powered past Basic, who is ranked 200 places higher at number 281 in the world.
A comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Basic’s compatriot Aldin Setkic in round two led to a first ITF quarter-final appearance of the year for Bloomfield and he improved on that with victory over a third Bosnian, Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
French qualifier Jules Marie was swept aside in straight sets in the semi-final before the loss to Michalicka brought his fine run to an end. Bloomfield now has the option of a second tournament at the same venue to capitalise on his recent momentum.