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Athena on court at Nottingham Tennis Centre

Tennis scholar Athena Nathalia wins Aegon British Tour

Second year student and tennis scholar Athena Nathalia has become the first Exeter student to win the Aegon British Tour. Despite being unseeded ahead of the tournament, she took on several higher-ranking players and took home the top prize.

The Aegon British Tour, held at Nottingham Tennis Centre on grass courts, provides a circuit of tournaments designed to develop up and coming players in their quest to become professional tennis players. Nathalia attended the tournament along with fellow tennis scholar Olivia Parson, who won a first round match against Emily Sim 6-1 6-4, before losing out to Kimberly Mputusa in a particularly tough match (6-7 1-6).

Nathalia faced five opponents throughout the tournament, all of whom were higher rated players, meaning that her rating will improve as a result of the tournament. In the first round, she faced Chloe Hughes and won 6-3 6-0, before fending off 3rd seed Florence Abbot with another 6-3 6-0 result. The quarter finals saw her secure a victory over 6th seed Emma Wilson (6-4 6-3), before going on to face Olivia Peel in the semi-finals. This challenging match resulted in a score of 6-0 7-5 and put Nathalia in the final against Anna Chesca. Nathalia really came into her own in the final match, playing her best tennis of the tournament, and emerging victorious with a 6-2 6-1 score.

Steve Wood, Head of Student Tennis, commented “Athena has had a good year competing in BUCS at the #1 spot. All the hard work she has put into her tennis is starting to pay off and results like this will hopefully springboard her into having a good summer and a positive start to the BUCS 16/17 season.”

Tennis is one of nine focus sports at the University of Exeter, and our Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes to reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times / The Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016 Sports University of the Year, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Date: 18 July 2016