News and events

News

International win sees Loughborough Tennis off to the Australian Open

Loughborough University’s Tennis Programme has bagged a once in a lifetime trip to the Australian Open next year thanks to an outstanding victory in an international tournament in China, which saw the best Universities in the world go head to head.

Competing in The Belt and Road tournament for the first time, a team of six travelled to China to take on seven other Universities from around the world, with group matches preceding the knock-out stages. In Davis or Fed Cup style, each tie would see five matches; men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and a mixed doubles clash.

After a round robin style group stage, Loughborough topped their group by two games, which set up a semi-final against Moscow State University. A crushing 4-1 win against their Russian counterparts set up a final against local favourites Zhejiang University, which would go to the wire.

Having beaten the Chinese side by a mere game in the group stages it was always set to be a ding-dong battle, something that rung true as the contest was tied 2-2 heading into the deciding mixed doubles contest. In action for Loughborough in the decider were George Houghton and Olivia Sofroniou, the duo holding their nerve incredibly well to ensure Loughborough got their hands on the trophy.

The team will now be rewarded with a once in a lifetime trip to the Australian Open in Melbourne in January, where they will receive tickets to see the best in the world in action, get a behind the scenes look at the tournament and benefit from some world class coaching.

Of the achievement Director of Tennis Helen Reesby commented:

“Firstly I want to congratulate all of the players for a great tournament over the last week – they really should be proud of their achievements. However this victory really highlights the work Tom Kisiel has done over the last couple of years to build our tennis programme and I’m hopeful that this is the first of a number of major victories for our squad over the coming years.

“The University has really invested in tennis over the past two years and hopefully this is one of the first examples of this bearing fruit. Our partnership with the LTA is going from strength to strength, namely through the new National Academy that will open its doors next year, so the opportunity for students to get involved with tennis has never been greater, whether this be through playing, coaching, volunteering or supporting our players in a multitude of different ways. There is no question that getting involved with tennis can add to the life changing experience students get by studying at Loughborough University.”

Congratulations to all of the team:

George Houghton
George Foster
Michael Shaw
Olivia Sofroniou
Nadia Rawson
Katie Morris
Tom Kisiel (coach)
Nathan Bullock (coach)

Playing at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre, a venue that the likes of Andy Murray have played in, the Loughborough students in action got to play in world class facilities and also experience a number of cultural opportunities in the Chinese city. Funded by Tennis Australia, the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Sports Bureau, the tournament is brilliant development opportunity for student-athletes from across the world.

For further coverage of Loughborough’s victory, and to follow the team’s adventure to Australia, please follow the channels below:

Facebook: @loughboroughsport
Instagram: @LboroSport
Twitter: @LboroSport

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/150

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

Categories