Tressa Armitage and Hannah Hicks punched above their weight during the team events at the 7th Luxembourg Open Championships in Luxembourg-Coque to reach the women’s quarter-finals.
The duo, both from Hampshire, were the only English entrants to the popular open but were not overawed by their opposition with a fine run to the last eight featuring wins over both Ireland and Sweden.
In their opening match the England team of Hicks (World Rank 325) and Armitage (464) played Ireland’s Ashley Givan (481) and Emma Ludlow (unranked). The English pair made sure their higher ranking was justified and comfortably progressed with a 2-0 victory.
Having negotiated the first round the next match was considerably more difficult in the shape of Sweden represented by Daniela Moskovits (299) and Jennifer Jonsson (303). An examination of the rankings would have suggested that this might just be a step too far for the English girls but the duo stepped up to the challenge as Hicks beat Moskovits and Armitage defeated Jonsson, ranked 161 places above her, for a 2-0 win.
This set up a meeting with Switzerland who had strength in the shapes of Rachel Moret (258) and Rahel Aschwanden (282). The first match saw Moret beat Hicks to give the Swiss a 1-0 lead but a huge performance from Armitage to beat Rahel Aschwanden took the match to a doubles decider.
In the doubles the higher ranked Swiss pair took the match and progressed to the semi-final but this was a creditable performance by the English girls, in particular the unbeaten Armitage.
The girls will now embark on the singles event and hope to maintain their form.
by Ken MacLeod (April 18, 2014)