Emily Appleton wins ITF tennis doubles title in Caribbean

Emily Appleton may not have enjoyed the Trinidad and Tobago cuisine but the rising tennis star came away with another doubles title at the weekend.

The 18-year-old Sky Sports Scholar just missed out on a doubles trophy in Greece a few weeks ago, but a trip across the Atlantic for the ITF 15K tournament on the Caribbean island proved very fruitful.

“I headed to what sounds like the paradise island of Trinidad and Tobago,” Appleton said.

“It’s safe to say it wasn’t paradise, but I didn’t come away empty handed. As No 1 seed in the singles and the doubles I definitely felt pressure to do well and was excited for the challenges.

“I made the singles quarter-finals before eventually losing out in a very close loss 6-4 6-4. All losses are tough to handle but this one in particular hurt a lot!

“I was determined to bounce back and take the doubles title and so that’s exactly what we did!”

Appleton, whose current rankings are 627 in the singles and 457 in the doubles, linked up with Mexican Maria Portillo-Ramirez again and the pair were in sizzling form.

“We won our first two rounds fairly comfortably and then came through a tough third-set tie-breaker in the semis,” she added.

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“In the final we faced the No 2 seeds from America who I have played twice before. We started the match at 6.30pm under the floodlights of the big stadium court.

“After an hour and a half of a gruelling doubles we came through as champions 6-4 6-3. It was a superb match and to win the match with an ace was the icing on the cake!

“Overall, I had a great time in Trinidad, despite the food! We had to survive on fast food like Chinese and pizza which wasn’t ideal for athletes whatsoever!

“I’m now really looking forward to a training week in Florida, followed by two more tournaments there before returning home for the grass season!”