14 Feb 2018

Tasmania is Taylor made for British teen

News Article

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Tennis AustraliaGabriella Taylor (GBR)

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA: Some 150 miles off the Australian south coast lays the island state of Tasmania and it was here that the British teenager Gabriella Taylor picked up where she left off in 2017 by claiming the singles title in what was her first tournament of 2018.

Having not competed since her title winning performance in Navi Mumbai, India just before Christmas, the 19-year-old showed no signs of rustiness as she got her 2018 campaign off to a flying start dropping just four games in round one and going on to record further straight sets wins in all subsequent rounds.

The weather conditions saw the players having to contend with a mixture of sunshine, rain and wind throughout the week but this would have just seemed like home-from-home for the Brit who commented: “You just really have to be on your feet and giving it your best no matter what happens.”

In the showdown for the title, Taylor faced the fourth seeded American Asia Muhammad, 26, with both players having to battle cross-winds out on centre court as well as each other with the unseeded British player prevailing 63 64 over the 2016 US Open doubles quarterfinalist.

As well as being her first singles title of the New Year, this was also her third in the past 12 months which has given her “A huge confidence boost” for the rest of the year.

Looking ahead to the coming weeks, the Australian adventure is all set to continue for a while yet with Taylor stating: “I’m in Australia for another six weeks.”  This kicks-off in Perth where she says she’s “Got to start from scratch and just focus on my performance and on match by match.”

Preparing to depart for Perth, how would Taylor describe her first visit to Tasmania? “Amazing” before adding “I love Tasmania now” and summed up the week as a whole as “A great experience here, so really happy and enjoyed it a lot” and contributing to this happiness would be the revelation that she had now climbed the WTA rankings to a new career high of 277.


Gabriella Taylor speaks with Tennis Australia