Maia Lumsden makes it tennis title double for Bearsden after Aidan McHugh success

Maia Lumsden with her trophy after winning the ITF tournament in Shrewsbury (pic by Richard Dawson)
Maia Lumsden with her trophy after winning the ITF tournament in Shrewsbury (pic by Richard Dawson)

Maia Lumsden completed a remarkable tennis double for Bearsden when she lifted her first ITF $25,000 event title last week.

The 20-year-old defeated Russia’s Valeria Savinkh in three sets to take the prestigious event at Shrewsbury.

And the former Bearsden Academy pupil’s victory came hard on the heels of another international triumph last week by Bearsden’s Aidan McHugh at the F1 Futures tournament in Kuwait.

Maia not only won the tournament unseeded, but she had to come through qualifying to simply earn a place in the main draw.

But after winning two qualifying matches she carried on that form in the tournament proper, winning five matches.

Highlights included a 7-5 6-0 quarter-final win over Austrian number three seed Barbara Haas, a player ranked over 170 places above Maia.

A three-set win over Belgium’s Greet Minnen then took Maia - who had won all her previous matches in straight sets - into her second ITF final of the year.

In the final Maia took the opening set 6-1 but Savinkh hit back to win the second 6-4.

However Maia stayed strong to win the decider 6-3 and take the biggest win of her pro career on her third match point.

She told the Herald: “It was a great week, a bit unexpected but it turned out really well.

“It was a really strong event because it was one of the last ones of the year, so it was just a case of trying to qualify for the main draw and once I got through then taking it one match at a time.”

Maia continued: “In the quarter-finals I was playing the third seed who is ranked 190 in the world and the top seed was 110 in the world, so there were a lot of players higher ranked than me which is why it was unexpected.

“The tournament puts on a really good event and there were a lot of people there compared to some of the other tournaments. I walked on to ‘500 Miles’ and I started really well in the final.

“She came back in the second set, she’s quite a good fighter, and I knew that in the third set I had to step it up and I managed to do that.

“I was delighted with a little bit of relief because it was my third match point.

“And they played ‘500 Miles’ again after the match point so it was quite funny.”

The Stirling University student won two ITF $15,000 titles last year but the Shrewsbury success was her first since stepping up to the higher $25,000 level this year.

And her victory in her final ITF event of 2018 neatly bookended the year which she began by reaching the final of the opening event in Glasgow

Maia, now ranked 376 in the world - up from 584 last year, has completed her professional schedule for the year but will be part of the British Universities team at next month’s international championship in Grenoble.

Meanwhile fellow Bearsden player Aidan is also on a high after lifting his first ITF Futures tour title in Kuwait.

The 18-year-old - a semi-finalist at the Junior Australian Open in January - took the honours with a 6-2 6-7 6-2 win over Alec Adamson of the USA in the final.

The event was the first of three end of season ITF tournaments in Kuwait.

Aidan went out of the second event at the last 16 stage and is involved in the third this week.

The teenager’s success in Kuwait has set the seal on a successful first year in the senior ranks after making the step up from the juniors.

He also reached the final of the Futures event in Barnstaple - where he also won the doubles - got to semi-finals in Portugal and Tunisia and has seen his ranking shoot up 1,264 places to inside the world’s top 600.

Delighted father Chris said: “It’s a good achievement to win his first pro title; although he’s made a final before and quite a few semi-finals so this was the next step to prove that he’s able to play at this level and now ready to move on to the next level.

“He’s played a lot this year and it was mixed in with junior Grand Slams so that kind of takes the schedule a wee bit.

“It’s the first year he’s had a proper go at it. He’s only 18 and not six foot six so it’s a difficult challenge when you’re playing against hardy men all the time.

“But he’s right on it and is very focussed on continuing to improve.”