IT IS small wonder that Marcus Daniell rates Ilkley as his favourite venue.

The 24-year-old New Zealander won his maiden singles title there last year and successfully defended it yesterday.

"Grass is my favourite surface and there is the river nearby and the moor, where I have walked in the evenings. Scenically it is the most beautiful," said the Kiwi Davis Cup player.

As for his 6-2, 7-5 victory over unseeded Briton Lewis Burton, Daniell said: "I would have liked to get more first serves in but it was windy."

Daniell was soon in charge against the 22-year-old, who was affected by nerves, and was able to hit most of his volleys downwards, whereas Burton was often forced to volley defensively.

The fifth seed broke in the first game and went 3-0 ahead when the Sidcup man double faulted three times.

Burton held for 1-4 after receiving a warning for ball abuse but Daniell wrapped up the set 6-2 after dropping only six points on serve but there was general sympathy for the Briton when he was leading 5-4 in the second set and had the New Zealander 0-15 down on his serve.

Daniell seemed to either hit the ball into the ground or made a double hit on a fierce Burton return of serve, which would have put the Briton 30-0 up and two points from the set.

However, rather than being awarded the point, it continued and a puzzled Burton ended up losing it.

"It all happened so quickly but I would like to see a video of it," said Burton afterwards.

Daniell said: "I felt that I scooped it back in one motion."

Burton lost that game and the next two in being defeated in 1hr 19min, and said: "I was more nervous than I thought I would be."

However, at least he had the consolation of winning the doubles title, top seeds Burton and Ed Corrie beating second seeds Brydan Klein and Joshua Ward-Hibbert, also of Britain, 6-2, 6-4 in the final on Saturday.