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Parish serves up another title

PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 March 2015

Helen Parish celebrates her latest AEGON British Tour success in Norwich

Helen Parish celebrates her latest AEGON British Tour success in Norwich

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Upminster ace on form in Norwich

Upminster’s Helen Parish had more good reason to cheer after winning the AEGON British Tour event in Norwich.

It was a second national level title of the year for former Coopers pupil Parish, who triumphed without dropping a set.

After a bye in the first round Parish edged past Katie Dyson (Hertfordshire) 7-5 7-6, but admitted it had been a battle.

“It was a difficult match and I didn’t play as effectively as I would have liked, but I managed to get through it,” she said.

Lauren Armstrong (Buckinghamshire) was swept asisde 6-3 6-0 in the quarter-finals, before Parish played her best tennis of the week in the semi-final with Ireland’s Jennfier Timotin.

“I was playing aggressively, hitting my first serve well and moving the ball around the court much better than I had in the previous matches,” said Parish about her 6-3 6-3 victory.

Final opponent Lauren Dowling (Lancashire) had beaten the first, fourth and fifth seeds on her way through and gave Parish plenty to think about early on.

But Parish came through to win eight straight games for a 6-3 6-0 victory and said: “At the start I was far too passive and she was taking full advantage, hitting the ball very powerfully from the first point and producing a lot of winners.

“I gradually began to neutralise her shots and was then able to progress to making the first strike myself and imposing more of my strengths upon her.”

Having won two British Tour events in 2009, before injury and illness, Parish has now doubled her career title tally in the space of five weeks and added: “Obviously I’m very happy to have won another title and I’m hugely grateful to Matt, my coach, for helping me through the week.

“Results-wise I’m doing far better than I could ever have hoped at this early stage. I’ve played 16 matches so far this year, the majority at national level, and I’ve only lost one, where I had to retire in the first set due to ME-related fatigue.

“Understandably, it’s tempting to pack my schedule with more tournaments to keep the momentum going, however I have to be mindful of my health. The last thing I want is to relapse and be back at square one again.”

Parish is set to play in the final of the Essex Winter Individual Championships later this month, but says she will mainly be focusing on physical and mental recovery, and training before her next British Tour event in Bolton in early April.

“I’m really excited to compete some more, and so far things are looking good for me making a return to the ITF Pro Circuit in the summer,” she said.

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