Brown and Bertens win tennis titles at University of Bath

25 March 2012

Dustin Brown took the Aegon GB Pro-Series men’s singles title at the University of Bath Sports Training Village this afternoon, beating Jan Mertl 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

The German-born but Jamaican resident Brown proved too strong for a workmanlike Mertl.

“It’s been a great week”, said Brown, of Montego Bay, afterwards. “It’s great to win and everything’s been organised as best as possible”.

Mertl congratulated his opponent:  “I was super tired today but I tried to keep going and kept trying to win. Congratulations to Dustin”.

In the opening set the dread-locked Brown used his flair and shot-making to edge ahead of Mertl and set up two break points at 5-4 but contrasted that with some simple errors to allow the Czech back into the set.

The tie-break proved a role reversal with Mertl temporarily losing his concentration to go swiftly 1-4 down before losing it 1-7. Brown, the world no. 177 but previously a top-100 player, forced a stream of errors off the Mertl forehand in the show-down.

In the second set Brown broke Mertl early but the Czech broke back to level at 4-4.  A determined Brown struck again to break his opponent’s serve and lead 5-4.  He came back from 0-30 in the next game with an overhead winner, an ace and two points on which he forced a Mertl error to win the set 6-4 and the event with his first Championship point.

Earlier Kiki Bertens, the world no.172, took the women’s Aegon GB Pro-Series singles title in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It was the Dutchwoman’s fourth consecutive three-setter in the tournament this week.

Kiki Bertens' consistency paid off as she won the women's singles title

Two marginal errors from the 203-ranked Beck’s strong forehand gave Bertens the opportunity to break in the opening set to take a 4-3 lead. Bertens used some clever retrieving and better consistency to close out the set 6-4.

Beck bounced back early in the second set to break the Bertens serve to reach 1-1.  A frustrated Bertens yelled out as she dumped a forehand approach into the net serving at 2-3 down and 15-30 to provide Beck with a platform for the second break which she converted to go 4-2 ahead before taking the set 6-3.

In the third set, Bertens held her nerve and her serve in the opening game and was largely in control throughout to tie up the third set 6-3 and take the title.

Tournament director Richard Joyner said: “We’ve had two excellent weeks at the University of Bath.  The operations team have done a great job and we’ve had wonderful support from everyone”.

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The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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