Incredible semi-final comeback helps Team Bath Tennis player Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls reach first WTA final at Lyon Open

07 March 2022

Team Bath Tennis player Alicia Barnett and partner Olivia Nicholls reached their first WTA Tour women’s doubles final at their first attempt during a fantastic week at the Lyon Open in France.

The duo continued the fine form that has seen them win a host of titles on the ITF circuit as they beat number three seeds Irina Bara and Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-3 6-4 in the first round before easing to a 6-0 6-4 victory over Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam and Nicola Geuer.

That set up a semi-final showdown with fellow Team Bath Tennis player Samantha Murray-Sharan and partner Ulrikke Elkeri, who looked to be cruising through to the final as they won the opening 10 games. However, a remarkable comeback saw Barnett and Nicholls rally to win the second set 7-6(5) before taking the decisive third-set tie-break 10-3.

Barnett, coached by Ian MacDonald, and Nicholls were beaten to the title 7-5 6-1 by German duo Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva, who won the US Open in 2020, but will take a huge amount of positives from the week.

Meanwhile, the indoor tennis courts at the University of Bath Sports Training Village played host to the U18 County Cup national finals over the weekend, with Kent and Middlesex taking the boys’ and girls’ titles respectively.

The indoor courts are available for public bookings all year round, with Court 8 available exclusively from Mondays to Thursdays. Click here to find out more.

Team Bath Tennis are also opening their doors for a free tennis fun day for all children aged 5-8 years-old. There are two one-hour sessions planned on Sunday 20th March – one which starts at 10am and the other at 11am – for kids to have fun, meet new friends, learn skills and have a good run about, all at no charge.

Racquets and balls will be supplied for those who don’t have them, and any new players who attend will be offered the chance to join one of the six-week tennis courses during the summer term (starting 25th April) for just £10. Click here to find out more.

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