Maia’s championship bid fails at the final hurdle

Runner-up Maia Lumsden and Anna Zaja after their Aegon GB Pro-Series Scottish Championships final. (Pic by Tennis Scotland)
Runner-up Maia Lumsden and Anna Zaja after their Aegon GB Pro-Series Scottish Championships final. (Pic by Tennis Scotland)

Lenzie teenager Maia Lumsden’s bid to win the Aegon Pro-Series Scottish Championship in Glasgow fell at the final hurdle on Sunday.

The 17-year-old was in scintillating form all week as she battled her way from being a wild card entry all the way to the final of Scotland’s most prestigious annual international tournament.

But her terrific run to her first-ever Pro-Series final came to an end when she went down 6-4 6-3 to Germany’s Anna Zaja.

The first round draw could hardly have handed Maia a tougher test as she was paired with top seed Fatma Al Nabhani.

But she dominated the Oman player with a sensational 6-2 6-0 victory, a result she followed up with a 6-3 6-4 success over fellow Brit Manisha Foster.

In the quarter-finals Maia swept aside the challenge of French woman Julie Gervais, winning the opening set without loss of a game and then breaking her opponent twice in the second set to earn a 6-0 6-2 win and a place in the semi-finals.

There Maia raced through the first set of her encounter with Romania’s Karola Bejenaru, winning 6-2 in a little over 25 minutes.

She started the second set strongly as well, taking a 2-0 lead before being pegged back after some great returning from Bejenaru.

However she soon reasserted her dominance, serving out well to win in straight sets 6-2 6-3.

In the final Zaja, seeded six and seven years Maia’s senior, got off to the better start and broke twice to build up a 5-1 lead.

Lumsden pulled back but not quite enough as the German took the set 6-4.

Zaja, ranked more than 500 places above her opponent, then took the second set 6-3 to lift the trophy.

But despite the disappointment of defeat Maia will be looking to build on the success of reaching her first Pro-Series tournament on home soil.

She said: “It’s so good to be playing in Glasgow. To look out into the crowd and see so many people I know is great, as it doesn’t happen at any other event.”

The men’s and women’s singles are a Men’s Futures and Women’s Circuit ITF tournament respectively incorporated into the ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) rankings.

They enable young professionals to gain ranking points with the ultimate aim to progress into the full ATP/WTA tour alongside the likes of Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Scotland’s very own Andy Murray.

And to complete a memorable week for the family, Maia’s younger brother Ewen (15) helped Great Britain’s under-16 team qualify for the finals of the Tennis Europe 16 & Under Winter Cup team.

Ewen and team-mates Aidan McHugh and Jake Hersey came through a qualifying competition in Istanbul which also included teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Sweden and Turkey.

The finals will be held later this month in Ronchin, France.