Ipswich’s James Ling wins Aegon British Tour title at Felixstowe after starting as qualifier

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Fel

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Felixstowe on Saturday. Photo: Harman H Hopkins - Credit: Harman H Hopkins

Ipswich youngster James Ling remarkably stormed his way to the Aegon British Tour title at Felixstowe on Saturday having started the week as a qualifier.

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Fel

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Felixstowe on Saturday. Photo: Harman H Hopkins - Credit: Harman H Hopkins

The 20-year-old Suffolk county player, who is back for the summer during a tennis scholarship in the USA, won seven matches in five days, beating top-seed Nicholas Nugent 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided final played out in front of around 50 spectators.

Nugent plays for Surrey, but his parents hail from Suffolk.

Ling saw off Patrick Foley (6-3, 6-3) and Max Benaim (6-7, 7-7, 6-4) in qualifying, then dropped just one set in the main draw with victories against Thomas Pudney (6-1, 7-5), eighth seed Nicholas Turnbull (6-0, 6-1), Piers Foley (6-4, 2-6, 6-2) and seventh seed Michael Shaw (6-2, 6-3).

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Fel

Ipswich's James Ling (left) beat Nicholas Nugent in the final of the Aegon British Tour final at Felixstowe on Saturday. Photo: Harman H Hopkins - Credit: Harman H Hopkins

“It’s extremely unusual for a qualifier to win the whole thing,” said tournament referee Pete Greatorex. “I think it’s happened only three times in the long history of this tournament.


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“James just played some very solid tennis. He just got better and better as the week went on and I don’t think he missed a ball in the final.”

Ling’s comfortable win in the final may have been something of a damp squib for the neutrals watching, but the crowd had been left thoroughly entertained by the women’s final.

Olivia Peet (Lancs) beat Nell Miller (Kent) in the women's final of the Aegon British Tour at Felixs

Olivia Peet (Lancs) beat Nell Miller (Kent) in the women's final of the Aegon British Tour at Felixstowe. Photo: Harman H Hopkins - Credit: Harman H Hopkins

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Lancashire’s Olivia Peet (third seed) beat Kent’s Nell Miller (fifth seed) following an epic battle. Peet won the first set after a tie break, Nell hit back with a 6-2 second set win, but Peet – who had lost in the final of the Frinton tournament earlier this month – stepped up a gear to claim the decider 6-3.

“I have been running this tournament since 1991 and that was one of the best women’s finals I have ever seen,” enthused Greatorex. “You had two 17-year-old girls going at it hammer and tongs for three sets. There was very few mistakes. It was fantastic.”

Elsewhere, Suffolk’s William Cooke Wharton reached round two. The 18-year-old came through qualifying with wins against Edward Colclough and Casey Recci, beat Florian Hagmann 6-2, 6-4 in round one before losing to seventh seed Michael Shaw 1-6, 3-6

Olivia Peet (Lancs) beat Nell Miller (Kent) in the women's final of the Aegon British Tour at Felixs

Olivia Peet (Lancs) beat Nell Miller (Kent) in the women's final of the Aegon British Tour at Felixstowe. Photo: Harman H Hopkins - Credit: Harman H Hopkins

Ipswich’s Jared Bones was forced to retire injured in his final qualifier after he’s beaten higher-ranked opponent Angus Bradshaw 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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