Dermot Bailey went into this week’s Barcelona Open on a high after winning singles and doubles titles for the second tournament in a row at last week’s Slovakia Open.
After a brace of titles at last month’s Bulle Open in Switzerland before playing for Great Britain at the World Team Cup, Kettering’s Bailey arrived at the ITF Futures event in Trnava as third seed and dropped just two games in each of his first three matches.
The 24-year-old beat the Czech Republic’s Dalibor Potucek and Tomas Jockymek 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-2, respectively, before another 6-1, 6-1 victory over Russian second seed earned the Bailey his place in the final.
It’s three years since Bailey played Poland’s Tadeusz Kruszelnicki for the first time and their latest contest again ended with the Corby Tennis Centre player, a member of the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme, securing another straight-sets win over the former world number three.
Bailey’s 6-1, 6-2 victory over the top seed has seen him move up 18 places in this week’s world rankings to No.65.
“It was a tough week in terms of keeping my concentration for matches because I’d be playing singles early and then doubles late in the afternoon, so there was a lot of time in between to just keep focused,” said Bailey, who also partnered Kruszelnicki to earn
back-to-back straight sets wins to lift the men’s doubles title.
“I don’t think I played particularly well until the final, but then the final was probably the best I’ve played all year.
“My serve had been letting me down a bit earlier in the week, but then something just clicked and I was seeing more first serves in the final than I’d send seen all week. It just all seemed to come together.”
From the ITF Futures event in Trnava, Bailey now contests this week’s ITF 2 tournament in Barcelona, where he’s not seeded.
He added: “It’s very tough this week.
“But if I can take that level I played at in the Slovakia final into Barcelona it’s going to be very interesting and I’m feeling confident that I can replicate that.”