JB PICKARD admitted that he bottled it in losing a gripping LTA British Tour men’s singles final at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

At 5-4 up and 30-30 in the final set, the 19-year-old home club member was within two points of winning the title, but he ended up losing 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) to 17-year-old Scot Ben Hudson.

The finals were played indoors for the second successive year due to rain but for most of the contest Pickard seemed to be in charge, breaking to lead 3-2 in the final set and serving for the match at 5-4.

But that was when he started hitting his shots into the tape rather than making passing shots or staying in rallies, and the youngster from near Dundee certainly finished the match the better.

Qualifier Pickard, who won seven matches at Ilkley and returns for his second year at Samford University in Alabama in the autumn, admitted: “That was the one that got away.

“We both played well throughout but at the end I didn’t quite have the same tempo that I had in the rest of the match and I bottled it.

“I tried to keep cool and keep going. It was close but maybe I didn’t have the same mental energy. However, overall I have had a good week.”

After his first British Tour success, Hudson said: “I stuck in very well. JB played a very good first set, a very good match, but he made a few errors in the tie-break and I managed to pull through.”

The women’s singles final, played alongside the men’s final indoors, was also an up-and-down affair, with second seed Amy Leather beating top seed Brooke Black, from Teddington, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

It was some consolation for 18-year-old Leather, from Bath, after she failed to get into the $25,000 ITF tournament at Nottingham.