British Tennis Watch – August
In this long-running series of articles, we will be reviewing some of the action in the world of British tennis, from Grand Slams to Juniors.
In a change to our usual format, we will now be covering the action monthly, and highlighting a selection of players who have won titles or made noteworthy performances for that month.
We will be covering all events that finished in August – meaning the US Open, which is currently underway in New York, will be covered in next month’s edition.
Players are ordered by current world ranking.
If we’ve missed any big titles or performances, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2023 – Title Winners
Dan Evans – Age 33 – Current WR: 28th – Career High: 21st
Dan Evans. Photo Wikimedia
Week 31: ATP 500, Washington: WIN
Week 32: ATP 1000, Toronto: R1
Week 33: ATP 1000, Cincinnati: R1
After really struggling for the majority of the 2023 season, Dan Evans enjoyed something of a breakout tournament at the start of August when he headed to Washington for the ATP 500 event, which acted as a warm-up to the two Masters events later in the month. Despite performing sub-optimally at the 1000s, Evans strode to the title in Washington, picking up so very impressive wins along the way, including victories over Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. He eventually clinched the title with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in the final, allowing him to stabilise his ranking, which was in danger of collapsing completely due to his previous poor run of form. Evans now heads into the US Open seeded and hoping to reach at least the third round.
Jan Choinski – Age 27 – Current WR: 126th – Career High: 126th
Jan Choinski. Photo Wikimedia
Week 31: CH100, Luedenscheid, Germany: R1
Week 32: CH75, Meerbusch, Germany: WIN
Week 34: US Open Qualifying: Q1
The German-turned-Brit was in fine form in his birthplace this month, as the 27-year-old hit a career-high ranking and clinched only a second career Challenger title as he marched to victory in Meerbusch. Choinski was seeded second in the draw, giving him an advantage for the opening few rounds, but you still have to win those easier matches, and Choinski did just that, battling through the opening three rounds and finding his stride along the way. After a tight straight-sets victory in the first round was followed by three-set tussles in the second round and the quarter-finals, Choinski had played his way into form by the time the tournament reached the semis, and he duly dispatched Titouan Droguet and Camilo Ugo Carabelli for the loss of just nine games total in the final two rounds of the event. Unfortunately, Choinski couldn’t translate this clay-court form to the US Open – he lost in the first round of qualifying – but a great month nonetheless for the clay-court specialist.
Ryan Peniston – Age 27 – Current WR: 201st – Career High: 123rd
Ryan Penniston. Photo Wikimedia
Week 31: CH75, Lexington, US: R1
Week 32: CH75, Cary, US: QF
Week 33: CH75, Winnipeg, Canada: WIN
It was a month of gradual improvements for the out-of-form Ryan Peniston this August. Heading into the month, Ryan was trying to arrest the poor form which had seen him put together a 13-21 win-loss record for the year, as well as slow his steady rankings decline that had come as a result of his failure to match last year’s successes. Ryan came into the month at a ranking of 268th in the world, and things didn’t start well in Lexington where he was eliminated in the first round. But his North American swing began to bear fruit in Cary, where he put a couple of wins together to reach the quarter-finals. Then, as an climax, he crossed the border into Canada, snuck into the main draw as an alternate, and went on to win the title – ahead of other Brits in the draw such as Jack Draper and Liam Broady – after beating Leandro Riedi of Switzerland 6-4 4-6 6-4 in the final. Welcome back, Ryan!
George Loffhagen – Age 22 – Current WR: 339th – Career High: 337th
Week 31: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: WIN
Week 32: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: R2
22-year-old George Loffhagen is having an excellent year. The Brit hit his career high ranking in August by winning his third ITF title of the year in Roehampton, coming through a field crowded with British players to emerge triumphant ahead of all of them. Loffhagen defeated Luke Simkiss in the final (more on him later), and the 25 points he picked up pushed him to a career high of 337th in the middle of August. The youngster has previously won two other ITF25 events this year – in Nottingham in May, and in Mysuru, India, back in March. George ran out of steam slightly at the second successive Roehampton event a week later, squandering several match points en route to defeat against Oliver Target in the second round, and perhaps wisely took a break for the rest of the month.
Katy Dunne – Age 28 – Current WR: 349th – Career High: 212th
Katy Dunne. Photo Wikimedia
Week 31: ITF50, Foxhills, UK: WIN
Week 32: ITF50, Roehampton, UK: R1
Week 33: ITF50, Aldershot, UK: SF
It was an excellent month for 28-year-old Katy Dunne, who has been working hard both on home soil and in Spain and Portugal throughout the summer in order to try and push her ranking back up to her career best of 212. And August got off to an excellent start for Dunne as she managed to clinch the title at Foxhills despite entering the draw unseeded. She enjoyed victories over the second and third seeds in order to reach the final, where she played Talia Gibson of Australia, another player ranked far higher than her. But she was able to succeed, winning the final 6-4 3-6 6-4 to clinch her first ITF50 title of the year. She backed up this win with a run to the semi-finals in Aldershot a couple of weeks later – she was the last Brit standings in the women’s draw. These two excellent results have seen her rise in the world rankings from 489th at the start of the month to 349th – a huge difference in terms of seeding and entry opportunities for lower-level tournaments.
Arthur Fery – Age 21 – Current WR: 400th – Career High: 385th
Arthur Fery. Photo Wikimedia
Week 33: ITF25, Aldershot, UK: WIN
Week 34: ITF25, Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal: QF
Two very solid weeks of action from Arthur Fery, another bright British prospect at just 21 years of age. Despite missing the two earlier UK events in Roehampton, Fery made his way to Aldershot for the third successive ITF25 event on home soil, and as the top seed, he romped home to the title ahead of several well known British names. He beat British players in each round: David Quayle, Anton Matusevich, Johannus Monday, Henry Searle, and finally Toby Samuel in the final to clinch an impressive title. He quickly hightailed it back to the continent for an event in Portugal the following week, and maintained his momentum for a spell, reaching the quarter-finals as the seventh seed before his seven-match winning streak eventually came to an end.
Jack Pinnington-Jones – Age 20 – Current WR: 610th – Career High: 489th
Week 31: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: R2
Week 32: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: WIN
In a complete reversal of George Loffhagen’s results (see above), 20-year-old former British junior number one Jack Pinnington-Jones made the second round of the first ITF25 event in Roehampton before making an improbable run to the title at the second one, beating some familiar British names en route to the title. Jack, or JPJ as he is often affectionately known, was unseeded and beat top seed Charles Broom in the second round, 6-3 0-6 6-4 in a topsy-turvy match. His semi-final clash with third seeded veteran Dan Cox was a real tussle, with JPJ emerging triumphant 6-2 in the third set after both players shared tiebreaks in the first and second sets. Jack put the cherry on top of a fantastic week with a straight-sets victory over Estonian Daniil Glinka in the final after a very solid performance.
Tia Bonita Jakupovic-Klajko – Age 16 – Current Junior WR: 804th
August 2023 – Best Of The Rest
Week 31: J30, Bradfield, UK: WIN
Week 32: J60, Sofia, Bulgaria: R2
Week 34: J60, Domzale, Slovenia: R3
The young 16-year-old with a name that is quite the mouthful is making waves on the lower levels of the ITF junior tour. She has been putting together some decent results this year, reaching a couple of semi-finals earlier this year before an excellent result in Bradfield at the start of August which saw her beat three Brits, including 14-year-old top seed Sophie Bekker in the final, en route to a really solid title victory. She tried to up her level at a couple of J60 events on the continent thereafter and made a good stab at it, winning at least one match in each of the two events. One to keep an eye on moving forward.
Luke Simkiss – Age 25 – Current WR: 850th – Career High: 848th
Week 31: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: RU
Week 32: ITF25, Roehampton, UK: R1
Week 33: ITF25, Aldershot, UK: R1
It’s worth highlighting Luke Simkiss’ efforts on home soil this month, as he put together a solid run to the Roehampton final in Week 31 which saw him rise to a new career high. Coming into the tournament ranked 1239th in the world, Simkiss had to qualify for the event before putting together a run in the main draw, which included victories over fellow Brits William Jansen and Joshua Goodger, as well as French top seed Dan Added, before eventually losing to George Loffhagen in the final. His second and third tournaments of the month didn’t go quite as well, but those deep runs are the ones that score you the best ranking points, and Luke will now have the ability to avoid qualifying altogether in some events and push on further up the rankings.
Rosie Cho – Age 13 – Current Junior WR: 1985th
Week 31: U14 Cat 2, Aylesbury, UK: RU
Week 32: J30, Bradfield, UK: RU
Rosie Cho is a new name to regular readers of this roundup: the 13-year-old has been taking part predominantly on the Tennis Europe tour, which is a level of tennis that we don’t ordinarily cover here. However, following a runner-up finish at the Tennis Europe U14 Category 2 event in Aylesbury in the first week of August, she earned herself a wildcard into the ITF J30 event on the main junior tour the following week in Bradfield, and made a run all the way to the final in a stunning performance. She upset several more established British juniors en route to the final, including third seed Isabella Walker in the semi-final and second seed Isabella Wong in the quarters, before eventually coming a cropper in the final. A very interesting prospect to keep an eye on.