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KINGSTON GUARDIAN - 29/01/2004

MELANIE PRAISES COACH

Melanie praises coach after clinching first tour title

Mew Malden's Melanie South has credited new coach Lucie Ahl for her rapid improvement.
South, 17, has just recorded her first British Tour title beating Anna Hawkins 6-2 6-2 in the final at Sutton Junior Tennis Centre.

"I was absolutely delighted to win my first title and it was even more special to beat so many higher-ranked players along the way" said South. "It does wonders for my confidence to win these matches and I was especially happy to win a tournament so near to my home. Lucie has been coaching me since July and is a superb help" said South. "She is passing on to me the benefits of her career and I don't think I would be doing so well if it wasn't for her knowledge and experience".

South is looking to make a big move up the world rankings this year - the Nonsuch High School for Girls pupil is currently 858th in the world listings.

"My aim this year is to improve my ranking as much as I can and just keep enjoying my tennis," she said.

South, who will soon be flying for tournaments in Spain and Croatia, added : "I am really looking forward to the tours. It is good to get out of England and expereince different conditions."



by Mike Simmonds



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