Sarah Borwell
Borwell 2009 US Open 01.jpg
Full nameSarah Leah Borwell
Country (sports)United Kingdom Great Britain
England England
ResidenceMiddlesbrough, England
Born (1979-08-20) 20 August 1979 (age 42)
Turned pro2002
Retired1 October 2013
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$262,551
Career record159–157
Career titles3 ITF
Highest ranking199 (10 July 2006)
Grand Slam singles results
French OpenQ1 (2007)
Wimbledon2R (2006)
US OpenQ1 (2006)
Career record128–166
Career titles8 ITF
Highest ranking65 (9 August 2010)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian Open2R (2010)
French Open1R (2009, 2010)
Wimbledon1R (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
US Open1R (2009)
Sarah Borwell
Medal record
Representing  England
Commonwealth Games
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Delhi Mixed Doubles

Sarah Leah Borwell (born 20 August 1979) is an English former professional tennis player who enjoyed her greatest success in doubles. She was the British number one in doubles. Her career-high doubles ranking is 65, set on 9 August 2010 and her career-high singles ranking is 199, which she reached on 10 July 2006.

Early life

Borwell was born in Middlesbrough.[1] She attended Nunthorpe School,[1] where Jonathan Woodgate and Liam Plunkett were fellow students, she even shared a class and school football team with Woodgate who is a year her junior at The Avenue Primary school, where dual year classes were present. She was a regular player for the Schools boys football team, more than holding her own and deserving her place in the team.[2] and Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough.[1] She won a tennis scholarship to the University of Houston, where she was ranked as high as #8 in the NCAA[3] and completed a business degree.[2]

Her father is a scout at Aston Villa F.C.,[2] and her mother coaches Mini Tennis and is a supervisor for school sports.[1]



Borwell made her professional debut in August 2002 at the ITF tournament held in Bath, England where she suffered a first round defeat. She played four more tournaments that year and reached the quarter-finals of two of them (both on clay). The season ended with Borwell ranked world no. 744.[4]


She began 2003 with another quarter-final loss in January and two months later made her first appearance in an ITF tournament final, losing in straight sets to Australian Lisa McShea, 6–1, 6–4. She notched up one more semi-final loss and another quarter-final loss in ITF events before making her debut on the WTA Tour at the Tier III DFS Classic held in Birmingham. She experienced a defeat in the first round of qualifying at the hands of a young future world No. 1, Maria Sharapova. Borwell was then granted a wildcard into the qualifying event of her home Grand Slam, Wimbledon, where she was defeated in straight sets by Argentine Gisela Dulko in the first round. She spent the rest of the year on the ITF Circuit, reaching two more semifinals (one as a qualifier). She finished 2003 ranked 349.[4]


2004 was a year of first and second round defeats for Borwell. She played the entire year on the ITF Circuit, reaching only one quarterfinal and one semifinal (albeit as a qualifier) and as such her year-end ranking fell 68 places to No. 417.[4]


She made a more promising start to 2005, reaching the quarterfinals in her second ITF tournament of the season and the semifinals in her third. She again played on the ITF Circuit until June when she was again given a wildcard into the Tier III DFS Classic qualifying rounds. She managed to go one better than her previous year's appearance at the tournament by beating 16th seed Sunitha Rao in three tight sets before losing to eighth seed Rika Fujiwara from Japan. Another wild card followed, but this time into the main draw of Wimbledon where her opponent in round one was American, Shenay Perry. Despite a valiant performance in a first set tie-break (which she eventually lost 11–13) she lost the match in two sets. The rest of her year was spent playing ITF tournaments where she reached one quarterfinal. She did however beat two women ranked higher than herself to qualify for the Tier III Bell Challenge held in Quebec City, Canada in November. She lost in the first round to Emma Laine of Finland. 2005 ended with Borwell ranked 331.[4]


In February 2006, Borwell attempted to qualify for the Bangalore Open, a Tier III tournament held in India. She lost to Akgul Amanmuradova, 2–6, 1–6. March saw success for Borwell as she reached the semifinals of ITF Sunderland before losing to Gaëlle Widmer, 1–6, 3–6. This was immediately followed by her first ever title in Sheffield where she did not drop a single set en route to the final where she defeated Nadja Roma in three sezs. Two consecutive first round losses followed before a quarterfinal loss to Anne Keothavong in the ITF tournament held in Madras. May saw another ITF final appearance for Borwell in Nagano where she was forced to retire after losing a close first set 7–5 to Tomoko Yonemura. In June, Borwell had her first victory in the main draw of a WTA event after being given a wildcard into the DFS Classic in Birmingham and defeating fellow Briton Melanie South in three sets. Jamea Jackson beat her in the second round. Two consecutive wild cards followed, the first into the main draw of the International Women's Open in Eastbourne (where she did not make it past the first round) and the second into the main draw of Wimbledon. She had a shock victory here by winning her first-round match against world No. 66, Marta Domachowska, 6–3, 6–7, 6–4. This set up a second round match against future world No. 1, Ana Ivanovic, which she lost, 1–6, 2–6. Following Wimbledon, Borwell reached the quarterfinals of one ITF tournament that year and was beaten in the first round of qualifying of the US Open by Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro. Her ranking was 218 at the end of this season.[4]


From January to June 2007, Borwell played on the ITF Circuit. She reached three quarterfinals in this time. Then she participated in the French Open qualifying tournament where she was beaten by Stéphanie Dubois. She lost in qualifying for the DFS Classic, International Women's Open and Wimbledon before reaching the quarter-finals of the ITF tournament held in Felixstowe. Her next tournament was another ITF event, this one held in Frinton where she defeated fellow Brit Jade Curtis in the final, 6–4, 1–6, 6–3. The second ITF title of her career. This was followed by another quarter-final appearance in an ITF tournament before she lost in the qualifying rounds for three consecutive WTA tournaments. One more quarter-final in an ITF event rounded off her results for 2007. She finished the year at a ranking of 264.[4]


Borwell spent most of 2008 playing on the ITF Circuit, reaching two consecutive finals in March in Dijon and Bath. She lost the first to Olga Brózda and won the second by defeating Stéphanie Vongsouthi. In July she reached her only other singles final of the ITF season in the Felixstowe tournament, losing to Neuza Silva, 3–6, 2–6. Her participation on the WTA Tour that year consisted of four losing efforts as she attempted to qualify for the DFS Classic, the Banka Koper Slovenia Open, the Nordea Nordic Light Open and the Bell Challenge. Borwell was awarded a wildcard into the qualifying draw of Wimbledon where she was beaten by Yaroslava Shvedova, 6–4, 6–7, 6–4. In November, Borwell made the decision to stop playing singles and become a doubles specialist.[4]


With her doubles ranking high enough for her to enter the main draw of many WTA tournaments without having to qualify. She reached the quarterfinals of four International tournaments: ASB Classic, Hobart International, Abierto Mexicano Telcel and the Monterrey Open. She also made the semifinal of the main tour event in Bad Gastein. In 2010 Borwell teamed up full-time with American Raquel Kops-Jones. So far, they had made three quarterfinals but their highlight has been a semifinal in the WTA events at Ponte Vedra Beach and Stanford.

Both the French Open and Wimbledon proved to be a frustrating experience for Borwell and Kops-Jones. Although sandwiched between both tournaments they picked up an ITF title in Nottingham (defeating Naomi Broady and Katie O'Brien in the final) they suffered 1st round defeats in both Grand Slam events. At the French they came up against nemesis' and eventual finalists Katarina Srebotnik and Květa Peschke and were thrashed 6–0, 6–1. At Wimbledon they played a high quality game against 5th seeds Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. They played the first two centre court before bad light forced the match to be resumed the next day, at one set all. where Huber and Mattek prevailed 7–5 in the decider. Borwell did, however, win a round with Colin Fleming in the mixed doubles before losing in the second round to top seeds Nenad Zimonjić and Sam Stosur.

In July, Borwell teamed up with Martina Hingis and Scoville Jenkins to form the New York Buzz team at the World TeamTennis Championships. Although they struggled and were the least successful team, Borwell and Jenkins registered a very impressive Mixed Doubles success against John McEnroe and Kim Clijsters.

At the Bank of the West Classic Borwell and Jones caused a huge upset in round one as they defeated Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs 6–0, 4–6, [12–10]. On the win Borwell said 'We deserved that.'[5] They reached the semifinal despite Borwell being hit on the head with a 10–6 champion tie-break win against Lilia Osterloh and Riza Zalameda, Borwell said this win was more important than their first-round win.[6] The blow to the head Borwell received in that match turned out to be a brain bleed that kept her out of action for about a month, causing her to miss the US Open.

Borwell returned to action at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, competing for England in both the women's and mixed doubles. Anna Smith and Ken Skupski were her respective partners. Borwell and Smith were seeded second, however could not live up to that ranking losing their quarter final match in straight sets. Borwell and Skupski however combined well eventually winning the bronze medal, defeating Smith and partner Ross Hutchins.


In 2011, Borwell reached the first round of both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships but lost both times.

ITF finals

Singles: 7 (3–4)

$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner–up 1. 30 March 2003 ITF Albury, Australia Grass Australia Lisa McShea 1–6, 4–6
Winner 1. 19 March 2006 ITF Sheffield, Great Britain Hard (i) Sweden Nadja Roma 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
Runner–up 2. 28 May 2006 ITF Nagano, Japan Carpet Japan Tomoko Yonemura 7–5, ret.
Winner 2. 21 July 2007 ITF Frinton, Great Britain Grass United Kingdom Jade Curtis 6–4, 1–6, 6–3
Runner–up 3. 16 March 2008 ITF Dijon, France Hard (i) Poland Olga Brózda 5–7, 6–4, 4–6
Winner 3. 23 March 2008 ITF Bath, Great Britain Hard (i) France Stéphanie Vongsouthi 6–4, 7–6(7–5)
Runner–up 4. 13 July 2008 ITF Felixstowe, Great Britain Grass Portugal Neuza Silva 3–6, 2–6

Doubles: 13 (8–5)

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner–up 1. 30 March 2003 ITF Albury, Australia Grass Australia Bree Calderwood Chinese Taipei Chuang Chia-jung
New Zealand Ilke Gers
1–6, 5–7
Winner 1. 24 October 2004 ITF Bolton, Great Britain Hard United Kingdom Emily Webley-Smith United Kingdom Hannah Collin
United Kingdom Anna Hawkins
7–5, 1–6, 6–2
Winner 2. 7 August 2005 ITF Vancouver, Canada Hard United States Sarah Riske United States Lauren Barnikow
Germany Antonia Matic
6–4, 3–6, 7–6(7–0)
Runner–up 2. 15 July 2006 ITF Felixstowe, Great Britain Grass United Kingdom Jane O'Donoghue Australia Trudi Musgrave
Australia Christina Wheeler
2–6, 4–6
Winner 3. 9 November 2007 ITF Port Pirie, Australia Hard United States Courtney Nagle Australia Daniella Dominikovic
Australia Emily Hewson
6–2, 6–2
Winner 4. 22 February 2008 ITF Capriolo, Italy Carpet (i) South Africa Kelly Anderson Croatia Darija Jurak
Croatia Ivana Lisjak
7–6(9–7), 6–4
Runner–up 3. 22 March 2008 ITF Bath, Great Britain Hard United Kingdom Olivia Scarfi Slovakia Martina Babáková
Czech Republic Iveta Gerlová
1–6, 7–5, [1–10]
Winner 5. 10 May 2008 ITF Irapuato, Mexico Hard United States Robin Stephenson Switzerland Stefania Boffa
Czech Republic Nikola Fraňková
6–4, 3–6, [10–4]
Runner–up 4. 6 June 2008 ITF Surbiton, Great Britain Grass United Kingdom Elizabeth Thomas United States Julie Ditty
United States Abigail Spears
6–7(2–7), 2–6
Winner 6. 12 July 2008 ITF Felixstowe, Great Britain Grass United States Courtney Nagle Czech Republic Nikola Fraňková
United Kingdom Anna Hawkins
7–5, 6–3
Runner–up 5. 28 September 2008 ITF Shrewsbury, Great Britain Hard United States Courtney Nagle United Kingdom Anna Smith
Sweden Johanna Larsson
6–7(6–8), 4–6
Winner 7. 23 November 2008 ITF Odense, Denmark Carpet (i) United States Courtney Nagle Czech Republic Gabriela Chmelinová
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mervana Jugić-Salkić
6–4, 6–4
Winner 8. 31 May 2010 ITF Nottingham, Great Britain Grass United States Raquel Kops-Jones United Kingdom Naomi Broady
United Kingdom Katie O'Brien
6–3, 2–6, [10–7]

Performance timelines

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.


Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Career W–L
Australian Open A A A A A A 0–0
French Open A A A A Q1 A 0–0
Wimbledon Q1 A 1R 2R Q2 Q1 1–2
US Open A A A Q1 A A 0–0
Year-end ranking 349 417 331 218 264 363 1–2


Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Career W–L
Australian Open A A A A A A A 2R 1R 1–2
French Open A A A A A A 1R 1R A 0–2
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 0–9
US Open A A A A A A 1R A A 0–1
Year-end ranking 556 441 343 244 482 123 78 69 325 1–14

Mixed doubles

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Career win–loss
Australian Open A A A A A A A A 0–0
French Open A A A A A A A A 0–0
Wimbledon 1R A A A 1R 1R 2R 2R 2–5
US Open A A A A A A A A 0–0

Fed Cup

Europe/Africa Group I
Date Venue Surface Round Opponents Final match score Match Opponent Rubber score
4–7 Feb
Tallinn Hard (i) RR  Hungary 3–0 Doubles (with Melanie South) Marosi/Szávay 6–4, 6–3 (W)
 Netherlands 3–0 Doubles (with Anne Keothavong) Thijssen/Wong 6–4, 6–0 (W)
 Luxembourg 3–0 Doubles (with Melanie South) Minella/Thill w/o (W)
 Poland 1–2 Doubles (with Anne Keothavong) Jans-Ignacik/Rosolska 5–7, 3–6 (L)
3–6 Feb
Lisbon Hard (i) RR  Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–0 Doubles (with Elena Baltacha) Husarić/Martinović 6–3, 6–2 (W)
 Austria 0–3 Doubles (with Anne Keothavong) Mayr-Achleitner/Meusburger 4–6, 4–6 (L)
 Belarus 2–1 Doubles (with Elena Baltacha) Govortsova/Poutchek 3–6, 7–5, 6–2 (W)
 Netherlands 1–2 Doubles (with Katie O'Brien) Hogenkamp/Thijssen 2–6, 4–6 (L)


  1. ^ a b c d "Sarah Borwell". Top Player Profiles. LTA. Archived from the original on 8 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Goodhart, Benjie (20 June 2008). "Grounded Borwell still enjoying the ride". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Sarah Borwell". Borwell Ranked Top 10 Nationally. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Singles Results – Sarah Borwell". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Sarah Borwell & Raquel Kops-Jones stun top seeds". BBC Sport. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Sarah Borwell and Raquel Kops-Jones reach semi-final". BBC Sport. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.