By Tum Balogun
Hometown hero Abbie Breakwell believes she’s taken a 'massive step forward' after claiming her maiden senior international singles title at the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships’ Nottingham Futures event.
The Nottingham ace, who is supported by the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, defeated top seed Zoe Maras of France 6-3 6-3 in an hour and 14 minutes at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
And having faltered at the final hurdle twice before in previous events at Futures level, the rising star shared her pride in finally clinching the crown and hopes more victories will follow as a result.
Breakwell, 19, said: “I’ve done it twice now where I've got to the final in Futures and I just haven't quite crossed that line.
“Or I've won the first set and I haven't just quite crossed that line but today I managed to and it was a massive step forward.
“For people who play tennis, they'll know that crossing that line can sometimes be the most difficult thing.
“But actually, once you've crossed it, it then creates a hole which you can keep going through because you know you can do it.”
It was actually a double celebration for the world No.33, who also claimed the doubles title with her singles finals opponent Maras.
And that was an achievement made even sweeter by the tournament’s location, just minutes away from her home.
Breakwell added: “It’s really nice because this is my home event - I only live ten minutes away.
“My entire family can come along and watch, which is a really, really nice and a very rare event as a lot of the time I'm travelling, playing abroad so actually having my family here is really nice."
Fresh off her victories, Breakwell, who turned professional in 2019, is eyeing up the next step of her promising career.
And though she is aware of the added challenge of making the step up to take on the game’s elite players, the talented youngster is eager to improve by learning from any setback.
“It's a bigger leap but I think I'm ready for it,'' she added on her next step.
“I have been training really hard and the people who are at that next level who I’ve been playing against, I've been matching them, which is really good.
“So for me, I think I'm ready for the next stage.
“One of the biggest things is you learn more from your failures than your success. By having more failures, you learn more than if you constantly win all the time and don't feel like anyone's pushing you to actually improve.
“Actually by failing, that gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.”
For more information on the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships click here