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 Winners - James Marsalek and Natasha Starling

AEGON British Tennis Tour results

The first AEGON British tour at the University of Exeter has recently taken place with good performances from Exeter based players throughout the event.

Tuesday 15th February 2011 saw the completion of the first AEGON British Tour at the University of Exeter, plus the first event played on a Thursday to Tuesday format.  With a good entry from Exeter University students and juniors, and great support from the University. James Marsalek and Natasha Starling won the Men's and Women's singles titles of this Tier 2 event.

18 year old Marsalek returning to action after an injury lay off, won his first AEGON British Tour title without the loss of a set. His path to the title, as an unseeded player, included a 6-2 6-3 win over 6th seed Rogan Egerton, followed by a 6-3 6-3 victory over 2010 Tier 2 Masters champion Josh Jones. The 18 year old followed this up with a 6-2 6-4 semi-final victory over 7th seed Nicholas Hatchett. His opponent in the final was 17 year old Oliver Hudson, who with a world ranking of 1606 was seeded 3. The Middlesex player had a good run to the final himself, beating AEGON British Tour stalwart Simon Roberts 3-6 7-5 6-1 in the quarter final, and followed this up with a 7-5 6-3 victory over 2nd seed Stefan Sterland-Markovic later on the same day. The final which was a close match saw Marsalek emerge the victor 6-4 6-3.

Natasha Starling was in impressive form throughout her 4 matches in winning the title. It was also her first AEGON British Tour title, having previously been runner up at West Worthing last year. With the loss of top seed , and Exeter University student Yvanna Kurlak in the last 16, 5th seeded Elisha Hande made it through the top half of the draw to Tuesday's final. The Gloucestershire teenager could not stop Starling in her quest for the title, with the Londoner winning the final 6-4 6-0.

Oskar Wynne battled through pre-qualifying before being knocked out to another pre-qualifier and Exeter student Joe Simpson. Rachel Williams came through a tough 3-setter against a higher rated opponent as did Nico Robinson. Kate Lucy who has just broken into Exeter University’s 1st team reached the main draw quarter finals before coming unstuck to the number six seed.

The event received good support with some fans coming up every day to see the high quality tennis. Will Macnally, Director of Tennis, said he was thrilled to host the event and is looking forward to making the British Tour an annual event at Exeter.

Date: 18 February 2011