Relentless David Rice prevails over his doubles partner at Frinton

Mens Champion David Rice.
Frinton Tennis Final at Frinton Lawn Tennis Club. Picture: Steve Waller

Mens Champion David Rice. Frinton Tennis Final at Frinton Lawn Tennis Club. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

David Rice claimed the Aegon GB Pro-Series Men’s Singles championship in Frinton-on-sea on Saturday morning after overcoming doubles partner and close friend, George Coupland, 6-4 6-4.

David Rice on his way to winning the Frinton Lawn Tennis Championship. Frinton Tennis Final at Frint

David Rice on his way to winning the Frinton Lawn Tennis Championship. Frinton Tennis Final at Frinton Lawn Tennis Club. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The tournament’s number two seed was in exceptional and relentless form against his playing partner – the day after the two of them had triumphed in the Doubles competition together with victory over Jack Findel-Hawkins and Toby Mitchell.

Rice struck with a break point early in the first set at 2-2 following an excellent 20-stroke rally that Coupland fired into the net.

The Hertfordshire-based star then went on to claim the set after 40 minutes, with Coupland’s unforced forehand error drifting wide to give Rice the advantage.

Sensing blood, Rice piled the pressure on right at the start of the Coupland serve in the second set – and that paid off as Coupland buckled, with his frustrated racquet hitting a ball towards Clacton having been broken again.

Coupland hadn’t truly looked like troubling Rice’s serve all match, but managed to do so deep into the second as a rare double fault from the champion allowed the giant frame of Coupland a sniff of a third set at 4-4.

But you can rarely become a champion without being a fighter, and Rice showed his worthy credentials by doing exactly that in the next game as he immediately broke back to leave himself serving for the match.

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And despite wobbling a little with all that added pressure on his shoulders, Rice prevailed to save three break points – and with a look of delight on his face, hold aloft his winner’s trophy in one hand and his cheque for £1,296 in the other.

The respective men’s and women’s finals in the Aegon British Tour also took place on Saturday morning.

Despite enjoying an excellent tournament, Norwich’s Olivia Nicholls’ quest for glory ended at the final hurdle as she lost to number one seed Manisha Foster, 6-2 6-4.

Nicholls had been in inspired form on her march to the final – defeating Anastasia Reimchen, winner of the previous week’s Felixstowe Tour, and the vary talented second seed Sophie Watts – but found her final opponent, ranked 661st in the world, just too tough to overcome.

In the men’s final, Josh Goodall had no problems ousting Matt Taylor for the £400 winner’s prize, comprehensively winning 6-1 6-2.

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