Leeds player Arun Bahia bows out at Ilkley as mind games fail to derail opponent Stefan Cooper

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures.

Host venue: LTA British Tour tournament is taking place at  at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club this week. Picture Tony Johnson
Host venue: LTA British Tour tournament is taking place at at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club this week. Picture Tony Johnson

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures.

Arun Bahia was trailing Devon’s Stefan Cooper 6-0 in their second-round qualifying match in the LTA British Tour tournament at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

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So, at the change of ends, he thought why not ask him how to beat him.

Bahia, a 20-year-old economics student from Adel in Leeds, explained the unusual request.

The University of Sheffield student said: “I was trying to lull him into a false sense of security, trying to get him to drop his guard.

“And it nearly worked because he did drop his guard and I raised my level and only lost the second set 6-4.

“Stefan has a very strong serve, doesn’t give much away for free and finds the lines.”

It was Bahia’s second match of the day as he had defeated Sebastian McDonnell-Palomares 7-6 (9-7), 2-6, 10-5 in the first qualifying round.

Bahia added: “I had to be the counter-puncher against Stefan, whereas against Sebastian I had to be the aggressor.

“As for my tennis it is just a matter of a week at a time and trying to be better than I was last week, and I am either studying or playing tennis.”

Bahia wasn’t the only home club member in action as JB Pickard also won his first-round clash, defeating Kai Van-Roon Collins 6-1, 6-3, but Tom Horsley went out 6-3, 6-3 to Cheshire’s Matthew Earnshaw.

There were also wins for Yorkshire’s Alexander Tikhonov and Scott Hillerby.

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and Poland’s Iga Swiatek remain top of the men’s and women’s world rankings, respectively.

Cameron Norrie (13th) and Emma Raducanu (10th) are the highest ranked British players.