Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Mark Gregory
9:04 AM 3rd May 2023

British Tennis Watch – Week 17

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 17 – 24–30 April 2023

In this week’s edition:

Cam Norrie is the best-performing Brit in Madrid
Heather Watson is a finalist in France
Two British junior winners at the J200 in Aldershot

ATP/WTA Main Tour

1000 Level

The second clay-court Masters event is still ongoing in Madrid this week, with the event stretching over two weeks for the first time this year. But that hasn’t really helped any of the Brits involved to extend their stay in Spain, as there was only one victory among six British players at the event in its first week.

First off, qualifying: Jan Choinski had a bash but fell 6-3 6-2 to seeded Borna Dojo in the first qualifying round. One down.

First round: Emma Raducanu turned up in Madrid and even fielded a press conference on the even of her first match, but she eventually had to withdraw from the event with a wrist injury. Kyle Edmund and Andy Murray both lost their first round matches too, while Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie, as seeded players, both earned byes through to the second.

Second round: Dan Evans couldn’t continue the good form he had developed at the ATP 500 in Barcelona the previous week: he lost to unseeded Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles in straight sets. Meanwhile, the only British victory came thanks to Cam Norrie, who beat Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki 6-4 7-6(5).

Third round: the end of the road for Norrie, too. Up against China’s Zhizhen Zhang, Norrie lost 2-6 7-6(2) 7-6(2) despite not facing a breakpoint for the entire match.

ATP Challenger Tour / WTA/ITF Futures Tour

80 Level

Not a lot on offer for the British women at the higher levels of the ITF Tour thanks to the Madrid Open, but there were still three tournaments with British interest in Europe and North America.

In Turkey, Katie Swan was the top seed at the ITF80 on clay, but after defeating a local wildcard in the first round, she couldn’t get past qualifier Ekaterina Maklakova in the last 16. Yuriko Miyazaki’s week was even more disappointing – she lost in the first round of the event in Charlottesville, USA, in straight sets to a Mexican qualifier. And 18-year-old Andra Sutherland, playing her first tour match in four months, won just one game in her first qualifying match in Portugal. In 2022, she won just one of fifteen matches on tour.

75 Level

Three Men in action at CH75 level this week, with none of them getting past the first round. In the Czech Republic, Billy Harris couldn’t get through qualifying despite being seeded third, while Ryan Peniston, despite being the top seed, managed to compound his current losing streak to five matches after a straight-sets defeat to a local wildcard.

Meanwhile, in Savannah, USA, Blu Baker took out one qualifying seed on the clay in the States, but couldn’t get past local wildcard and 2022 Junior Australian Open champion Bruno Kuzuhara in the final qualifying round.

70 Level

It was a much more promising week for British women in France at the ITF70 in Calvi this week. Of the eight quarter-finalists at the event, three of them were British, and former British number one Heather Watson made it all the way to the final, defeating top seed Jessika Ponchet and fellow Brit Harriet Dart on the way to her second final of the year. Ultimately she lost out to Italian second seed Lucrezia Stefanini 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the final, but it’s a good result for the 30-year-old nevertheless.

Dart and Naiktha Bains were the other two British quarter-finalists, with Bains also losing out to even dual champion Stefanini in the last eight.

50 Level

It’s always a disappointment when we can’t emblazon ‘Title Alert’ when there’s a home event, but the British ladies came closer in Nottingham this week than they did last week after Katy Dunne’s run to the semis.

This week, we had a finalist in the shape of Amarni Banks who, unseeded, took out two fellow Brits en route to the final before eventually losing to Arena Rodionova of Australia in the title decider. The second of those vanquished Brits was Emily Appleton, who reached the semis before losing to Banks, and will be happy with a solid result after an inconsistent year so far.

Elsewhere in the draw, wildcard Lauren John-Baptiste made the quarter-finals, while qualifier Danielle Daley, seventh seed Eliz Maloney, and Sarah Beth Grey all won one match to reach the last 16.

Elsewhere, Francesca Jones continued her excellent season in South America, reaching a third consecutive semi-final this week in Ecuador before unfortunately withdrawing from her semi-final before a ball had even been hit. We wish her well with her recovery, and look forward to seeing her in action again soon.

25 Level

At the second of three Nottingham ITF25 events, there were two British semi-finalists in the shape of Daniel Little and Giles Hussey, both 25, and both of whom were denied a place in the final by seeded opposition. For Little, it was his second semi-final in as many weeks, but still not quite the dizzy heights of the title he won in Sheffield earlier in the year. For Hussey, it’s his second semi-final of the year after he made the last four at an event in France in January.

Elsewhere in the draw wildcard Millen Huron once again made the quarter-finals, with Hussey defeating him in three sets, while George Loffhagen lost out to Little in the other all-British quarter-final, which was another tightly fought three-setter. Dan Cox and Stuart Parker also made the second round.

Elsewhere, there was less success for British men: Charles Broom and Felix Gill were both seeded at the ITF25 in Italy but lost in the opening round; in Georgia, Alastair Gray was the second seed but lost in three sets in the first round; in Indonesia, Damian Rodriguez came through qualifying but fell in the first round after a second and third set collapse; and in Spain, Ying Hou was seeded fifth in qualifying but failed to win a match.

15 Level

More valiant efforts at ITF15 level for the men this week, but very little success: in Tunisia, five British men attempted qualifying, but only one secured a win: Nicolas Philibert made it to the second qualifying round before losing, while Matthias Southcombe, Aleksandar Andic, Parth Shah, and Carl Holder all lost early.

In Trinidad, Elbert Barr was once again in qualifying, and made it all the way through to the main draw before losing to American opposition, while in Cyprus, Alexander Carlos Parker won one qualifying match but narrowly missed out on winning the second after losing two tiebreaks.

In the States, Dominic West lost in the final qualifying round, and in Turkey, Felix’s brother Lucian Mischker lost 6-1 6-0 in his opening match after being given a qualifying wildcard.

10 Level

Abigail Amos continued to shine brighter than the rest of her compatriots out in Spain; indeed, she was only one of two to stick around after reaching the main draw last week. Amos earned a direct entry to the main draw through her ranking this week, and was able to capitalise, reaching the quarter-finals after two decent wins on the clay against two wildcards. Ananya Vartak was in qualifying but lost in the first qualifying round.

In Turkey, meanwhile, Matilda Mutavdzic was seeded second, winning her first match since February against a Polish qualifier before eventually running out of steam in the second round.

Junior Tennis

J500 Level

Two Brits, a boy and a girl, were in action at the J500 in Germany this week, but neither were able to make much impact on the main draw. Oliver Bonding, who has won one J300 event so far this calendar year, couldn’t get past seeded opposition in the first round, while Imogen Haddad battled her way through qualifying and a first-round opponent to reach the last 32 in an excellent performance. The tournament was a big step up for Haddad, 17, who reached a J100 final earlier this month.

J200 Level


Home victories in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles at the J200 in Aldershot this week, with some familiar names to those who read this feature regularly winning their respective tournaments.

Let’s start with the Girls: on the back of her first ever ITF Senior level event last week where she reached the quarter-finals, Hannah Klugman blasted through the Girls’ field to secure a brilliant title – her second J200 title of the year. Klugman, who is still just 14 years old, beat fellow Brits Hannah Read, 17, and Given Roach, 18, en route to the title, and didn’t drop a set all tournament. Roach was her opponent in the final, while Read and Ruby Cooling were both quarter-finalists.

In the Boys’ draw, it was Henry Searle who emerged victorious, after the majority of the Boys’ draw went with seeding. Three of the top four seeds – all Brits – reached the semis: Searle, the top seed, Charlie Robertson, the second seed, and Luca Pow, the fourth seed. Robertson beat Pow in a third set tiebreak to reach the final, while Searle eased past unseeded Korean Seung Min Park before a 6-2 6-4 victory over Robertson in the final. Another notable performance came from Viktor Frydrych, who made the quarters unseeded, snapping a six-match losing streak in the process.

J100 Level

Modest results at J100 level this week – Kai-Luca Ampaw and Aryan Singh both reached the second round of the event in Turkey, while Maxwell Castle lost in the first round in Costa Rica and Athina Schlepphorst did the same in the States. Josh Hinton, meanwhile, was eliminated in the final round of qualifying over in Australia.

J60 Level

Only Daisy Clifford, 16, in action at J60 level this week, and she was out in the Ivory Coast as the fifth seed. Clifford fulfilled her seeding, reaching the quarter-finals before the eighth seed got the best of her.

J30 Level


Okay, new kid on the block alert?! Last week we reported the efforts of 13-year-old Alisha Ndukwu, who, in her first ever ITF Juniors event, got all the way to the final in Ghana. This week, she went one step further, and actually won the whole thing – and what’s more, she beat a fellow Brit in the final!

Grace Chinwike – also just 13 years old – had entered two previous events on the calendar this year, in Senegal and Ireland respectively, but failed to make an impact on either event. This week, though, she took out the fifth and second seeds before eventually losing out to Ndukwu in the final.

Ndukwu’s two consecutive final appearances have taken her from unranked on the Junior tour to almost inside the top 1000 in the world, and we look forward to seeing what sort of progress she makes from here.

There were several other Brits involved at J30 level, but only two of them picked up wins: Hal Carson reached the second round in Cameroon, while top seed Conor Flynn lost in the second round in the Boys’ Singles in Ghana.

Tennis Europe U14s

There was a Super Category event for the U14s this week in Portugal, and there was a British finalist – but it wasn’t Mark Ceban this time around. Ceban was the top seed at the event, but he was beaten in the last 16 by local sixteenth seed Adolfo Abascal with relative ease.

No – instead it was a chance for Hollie Smart to shine. Smart, ranked 15th at U14 level and seeded fifth at this event, came through a stacked field to reach the final against U14 number one Ksenia Efremova, who is already ranked on the ITF Junior Tour. Unsurprisingly, Efremova came out on top, but Smart’s run to the final propels her up to seventh in the U14 rankings.

LTA British Tour

At the Grade 2 event in Connaught, Essex, there was a Polish usurper in the Men’s draw who went all the way to the title! Oscar Wai was the losing finalist – he’s having a great British Tour season so far this year. Kai Cowcher and Stefan Cooper were the losing semi-finalists.

In the Women’s draw, Kate Mansfield beat Louise Booker in the final, with Katie Dyson and Chloe Cleaver the losing semi-finalists.