Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Mark Gregory
4:57 PM 27th March 2023

British Tennis Watch – Week 12

In this long-running series of articles, we will be reviewing all the action in the world of British tennis, from Grand Slams to Juniors.

We’ll be trying to cover all manner of tennis at various different levels, with a focus on British prospects. For now, though, we will be keeping our focus on Singles action, and putting Doubles to one side except for big events such as the Grand Slams.

The article is split into different levels – these levels are based on the number of points available for the winner of each tournament. For example, a tournament at ‘250 Level’ means there are 250 ranking points available for the winning player.

Please let us know if we miss anyone off by emailing me at

Week 10 – 20–26 March

In this week’s edition:

Total wipeout in the early stages of the Miami Open

Billy Harris makes a Challenger final as a qualifier

Charlie Robertson clinches J200 title in DomRep

ATP/WTA Main Tour

1000 Level

Unlike last week’s British progress at the 1000 Level event at Indian Wells, there was really nothing to write home about in terms of British interest in the first week of the second part of the so-called ‘Sunshine Double’ in Miami.

With the injury that Jack Draper sustained against Carlos Alcaraz last week, there was five instead of the expected six Brits entered into the two main draw Singles events in Florida, with Emma Raducanu the sole British representative in the Women’s Singles, and Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund, Cameron Norrie, and Dan Evans flying the flag for Britain in the Men’s draw.

But not a single win was registered amongst the British players, with unseeded Raducanu, Murray, and Edmund the first to go. Raducanu was drawn in a hugely anticipated matchup against fellow former Grand Slam Champion Bianca Andreescu, in just about the hardest draw she could have been given, and the two players exchanged the opening two sets before the Canadian put her foot down to take the decider 6-2. Raducanu will be disappointed to have only converted one of her eight breakpoint opportunities during the match.

Both Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund exited the tournament with straight sets defeats against Dusan Lajovic and Yibing Wu respectively in the first round, while Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans earned byes into the second round by account of their seeding; however, both men were disappointing in their second round matches, with Norrie losing 6-3 6-2 to Gregoire Barrere of France, and Evans being dragged back from a set up to lose 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

There was some British interest in qualifying for the main draw too, with three ladies entered – Heather Watson was soundly beaten by Indian Wells quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova in the first qualifying round, while both Harriet Dart and Jodie Burrage made the final qualifying round but fell at the final hurdle.

ATP Challenger Tour / WTA/ITF Futures Tour

100 Level

Liam Broady’s excellent early season form shone through again this week at the CH100 event in Biel, Switzerland, until it was abruptly curtailed in the final as the Brit was forced to retire with a wrist injury after dropping the first set.

Broady, seeded fourth in the competition, reached his second Challenger final of the year with a relatively straightforward run to the title decider, dropping just the single set – against his only seeded opponent, Canadian eighth seed Gabriel Diallo in the quarter-finals – before his body came unstuck against Austrian 23-year-old Jurij Rodionov in the final. The 60 rankings points will push Broady up to around the 130 mark in the world rankings once Miami is over, up from 161st, and it is hoped that he isn’t sidelined for too long with that injury.

We wish Liam all the best with his recovery.

80 Level

Our Brit on Aussie soil continued her consistent competition Down Under with her sixth Australian tournament of the year this week in Canberra. Naiktha Bains was unseeded at the ITF80 this week, but reached the quarter-finals before coming up against top seed Olivia Gadecki, who she met at the start of February. Bains won four more games than she did in the 6-0 6-1 loss that she suffered in Feb, but was unable to overturn the result, going out 6-1 6-4 to Gadecki.

75 Level

It was a brilliant week in Spain for British interest as 28-year-old Billy Harris reached the final of the CH75 in Las Franquesas del Valles as a qualifier, boosting his ranking up to just outside the top 300 as a result. Harris was joined by Dan Cox in qualifying, and both men emerged to join Jay Clarke in the main draw. Clarke’s poor form continued with a first round defeat, while Cox was able to defeat a fellow qualifier in the first round before losing to eventual champion Hugo Grenier in the second round.

Harris, meanwhile, took out the third seed Oleksii Krutykh of Ukraine 6-1 6-2 with a devastating performance in the first round, before taking out the seventh seed in the quarter-finals and, most impressively, top seed Max Purcell in the semi-finals, a top 100 player who had won his last three tournaments and was enjoying an 18-match winning streak on the tour. Harris also had chances to win the final: he was 5-2 up in the third set and served for the match at one point, but was eventually pegged back by Grenier and succumbed in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, a great week for Billy, and that career-high ranking of 290 is not too far out of sight right now.

Charles Broom was the sole British representative at the CH75 event in St Brieuc, France, this week, and the 24-year-old Brit was edged out in a real tussle in the first round by local favourite Maxime Janvier. The two players, ranked within twenty places of each other, fought out a very close first set, which went to the Frenchman via a tiebreak, before Broom surged back into the match by taking the second set 6-1. However, when it came to the crunch, Broom was unable to rise to the occasion, and he struggled to make an impact on the big points, eventually losing the deciding set 6-3.

Elsewhere, Ryan Peniston was seeded third at the clay-court event in Zadar, Croatia, but he too lost in the first round 6-4 6-4 to Zsombor Piros of Hungary.

70 Level

Brits are struggling to find form in the former Yugoslavia recently – Maia Lumsden and Katie Boulter were in action at the ITF70 event in Maribor, Slovenia this week, but there was only one win between the two of them. Lumsden won her first qualifying round match before losing 6-2 6-1 in the final round of qualies, while Boulter, who was seeded fifth, lost to 21-year-old Lulu Sun of Switzerland 6-4 6-4 after failing to convert five games during the course of the match.

50 Level

Francesca Jones continued her injury comeback on the South American clay courts this week as she entered the ITF50 in Colombia. She was able to win her first round match in straight sets, but fell in the second round against Ukrainian Valeriya Strakhova after a topsy-turvy match that finished 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Meanwhile, Amanda Carreras ‘won’ a match in qualifying at the ITF50 in Spain by way of a walkover, but couldn’t capitalise on her good fortune – she lost her second qualifying round match against Italian Lisa Pigato in straight sets, thus failing to reach the main draw.

25 Level

As always, there were plenty of men in action at the ITF25 events across the globe this week, including another finalist at the event in Toulouse-Balma in France. A total of six British men entered the Singles event, with two saying goodbye in qualifying: both Ali Habib and George Houghton made the final qualifying round, but were unable to overcome that final hurdle. There was no such trouble for Patrick Brady, though, who was the top seed in qualifying and was able to join Daniel Little, Harry Wendelken, and top seed Alistair Gray in the main draw.

It was Brady and Wendelken who made the second round after Gray suffered a shock first round defeat and Little was comfortably beaten by the fifth seed Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal. Brady lucked out by being drawn against a fellow qualifier in the first round, and he routed his opponent from San Marino, Marco de Rossi, 6-0 6-1 to join Wendelken in the second round.

It was all Wendelken from then onwards, though – the 21-year-old saved set points in the second set against third seed Kalin Ivanovski to reach the quarters, and then overcame two players who had knocked out fellow Brits to reach the final: he won by virtue of an injury retirement against Oliveira to reach the semis, and beat France’s Tristan Lamasine, who had beaten Brady in the second round, to reach the final.

Despite being up a break 2-0 in the final set in the final, Wendelken just ran out of steam against Nikolay Vylegzhanin, losing the decider 6-2. Nonetheless, a great week for Wendelken, who will rise to inside the top 550 in the world (from outside the top 600) as a result of his run to the final.

Elsewhere, Jan Choinski was the top seed at the clay-court event in Colombia and reached the quarter-finals, Felix Gill reached the second round in Spain – with Freddy Humphries falling in qualifying – and George Loffhagen lost in the first round in India despite being seeded second. Meanwhile, four Brits were in action in California, but none of them were able to get a win – Adam Jones, Joe Tyler, and Toby Martin all lost in the first round of qualifying, while Blu Baker lost to an American wildcard in the first round proper.

15 Level

In Tunisia, there were six Brits entered into qualifying but none of them made the main draw. Louis Allen came the closest, reaching the final qualifying round thanks to two victories, but he was eventually halted by Finnish eight seed Vesa Ahti. There were two British men in the main draw – Nicholas Philibert, 17, earned a main draw wildcard and won his first ever ITF Futures main draw match to earn his first ever ranking point! Meanwhile, 16-year-old Henry Searle used his junior ranking to enter the main draw here, and he, too, was able to earn a first round win, saving five set points in the first set before winning 7-5 6-1. Neither youngster was able to progress any further, but some great results nevertheless for the two young Brits.

There were two wins out of three in the first round of the ITF15 in Egypt this week. Zach Stephens was unable to back up his first round win last week this time around, but both Michael Shaw, who qualified for the main draw, and Joshua Goodger both picked up first round wins before being eliminated in tight second-round encounters.

In Crete, Giles Hussey was seeded second and made the last 16 after a first round win against an Italian qualifier, while James Beaven and Felix Mischker both won one qualifying match and lost the second. In Croatia, Jeremy Gschwendtner lost his opening qualifying match via a match tiebreak, while in Turkey, Charles Dossetter earned a wildcard into qualifying and promptly lost 6-0 6-0.

10 Level

Emma Wilson remained in Egypt this week for another ITF10 event, but again struggled for form, losing 5-7 7-5 6-3 in a marathon tussle against French qualifier Camille Moga in the first round. It was a better week for her compatriot Jasmine Conway, who reached the quarter-finals as the sixth seed, fulfilling her seeding. Sholape Ayanbadejo and Summer Yardley were both eliminated in qualifying.

Meanwhile, in Tunisia, there were two British quarter-finalists in the form of qualifier Abigail Amos and third seed Amarni Banks. Amos had an excellent week, winning four matches on the spin to come through qualifying and the opening two rounds, although both Amos and Banks benefitted from their opponents retiring with injury in the second round. This mirroring of results continued into the quarter-finals, where both Brits lost 6-4 6-1 to exit the competition.

Finally, Isabelle Cherny was entered into qualifying in Greece but lost her opening match.

Junior Tennis

J300 Level

After his brilliant run to last week’s final in Indian Wells, Oliver Bonding was straight back into the thick of things in San Diego for another J300 event in the States. Just one day after his final defeat in Indian Wells, he was in action again in his first round match against home favourite Andrew Ena, but Bonding was able to overcome a mid-match wobble to secure passage through to the second round.

Things were more plain sailing for the 15-year-old in the next two rounds, but it was in the quarter-finals where things finally caught up with him – Bonding, seeded seventh, was unable to match the level of Alexander Razeghi, the 16-year-old third seed, and eventually lost 2-6 6-4 6-1. The result does push Bonding into the top 40 in the junior rankings, though, so he’s still on his way up despite an exhausting fortnight across the pond.

Elsewhere, in Spain, neither Viktor Frydrych and Isabelle Lacy were able to get too far in the J300 in Villena. Frydrych lost in the opening round while Lacy’s sixth seeding earned her a bye through the first round, but she didn’t get any further and lost to a Spanish wildcard in three sets.

J200 Level


After last week’s defeat against fellow Brit Luca Pow at the J200 final in Santo Domingo, this week it was Charlie Robertson’s turn to clinch a title in the Caribbean. The British third seed, 16, won six matches on the bounce in the Boys’ Singles and avoided Pow – who lost in the last 16 – to clinch his third title of the year, and his first at J200 level.

Robertson’s exploits in the last two weeks – a J200 final and a J200 title, mean he will soar from 139th in the junior rankings to around 63rd – above Pow, 18, who will drop to 77th after failing to defend points from this time last year. Luca Bluett was also in the main draw – he secured a first round victory before defeat in the second round.

In the Girls’ Singles in Santo Domingo, there was also a British finalist: top seed Hepzibah Oluwadare, 15, finally put a string of results together to reach her first junior final of the year. She eventually lost to second seed Alexia Harmon of the United States, but the result takes her into the junior top 50. Elsewhere, Ruby Cooling reached the last 16, Gabia Paskauskas lost in the second round, while Ellie Blackford couldn’t get past her first round opponent.

J100 Level


In the second successive J100 event in Loughborough this week, there was more success in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles, as each event was won by a young British prospect. 15-year-old Benjamin Gusic Wan won the title for the second straight week, defeating young Ukrainian Nikita Bilozertsev 7-5 6-1 in the Boys’ final, while Oliver Hague and Luke Hooper were beaten semi-finalists and Hugo Coquelin reached the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, in the Girls’ draw, it was Mika Stojsavljevic once again who stole the show, storming through the field to win her second home title this year after her victory in Week 3 in Glasgow. The 14-year-old defeated Maria Rustic, 15, in the final after Rustic was forced out with an injury, but that was the icing on the cake, really, after an incredible week. Stojsavljevic lost just ten games in her opening three matches before a 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory over Czech sixth seed Nela Jandova in the semis brought her to the final and, ultimately, her second title of the year.

Flora Johnson was a beaten semi-finalist, while Jacquelyn Ogunwale, Erin Pearce, and Given Roach all made the quarters.

J60 Level

Not a lot of action elsewhere this week. The best result outside the top three levels came from Lois Newberry in Tunisia at the J60, where she reached the semi-finals before being defeated in three sets. Finbar McGarvey was also in the Boys’ draw in Tunisia; he reached the quarter-finals. Ollie Hooper made it through qualifying at the J60 in Panama but lost in the opening round, while Taymur Muhammad reached the second round in Turkey, but no further.

J30 Level

Yash Bahalkar lost his first round match in India at the J30.

LTA British Tour

At the Grade 2 event in Newport this week, there was a second straight British Tour title for Oscar Wai, who beat Nikolai Marin in the final. Wai, who came to the UK from Hong Kong at the height of the COVID pandemic, seems to be finding some form at this level of competition. In the Women’s draw, Kate Mansfield beat Isabella Walker in the final. Mansfield has entered qualifying at two ITF50 events so far this year but fallen at the final qualifying hurdle each time so far.