Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Mark Gregory
1:44 PM 10th July 2023

British Tennis Watch – Week 27

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.

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 26 – 3–9 July 2023

In this week’s edition:

Broady and Boulter go furthest at the Championships at Wimbledon
Viktor Frydrych makes the semis at the J300 in Roehampton
Sophia Christodoulou wins the home J30 event in Edinburgh

ATP/WTA Main Tour

Grand Slam

The time has finally come for, in my hugely biased opinion, the best Grand Slam of the year, and while none of the British players made the second week of the competition, Wimbledon itself has been hugely entertaining, and some of the matches that British players have been a part of have been nothing short of phenomenal – even if the results didn’t always go our way.

Of the eight British men who made the main draw, very few of us may have predicted that the Brit to get the furthest through the draw would be 29-year-old wildcard Liam Broady. But so it proved: Broady made the most of his wildcard into the main draw by reaching the third round for the second consecutive year, and picked up an almighty victory in the second round in the process.

Having cleanly dispatched Frenchman Constant Lestienne in the first round, Broady was drawn against fourth seed Casper Ruud in the second round, and was a match that almost everyone expected the Norwegian to win, despite Ruud being more suited to clay than the grass courts at SW19. But Broady came out firing and took the first set 6-4, but quickly the game started to turn in favour of the Norwegian 24-year-old: Ruud took the next two sets and looked in control of the match ahead of what he hoped would be a fourth and final set.

But Broady had other ideas: the Brit battled back in the fourth set, clinching it 6-3, and by that time all the momentum was back in the Brit’s favour: Ruud’s head dropped, and Broady was resurgent, and the fifth and final set was barely even competitive: Broady won it 6-0 to become the only British male to reach the third round.

That’s because trio Andy Murray, Cam Norrie, and Jan Choinski were all eliminated in the second round, with Murray’s match a particular highlight. Murray came up against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who, like Broady’s opponent Ruud, is more suited to a clay court. But this match, which stretched across two days on Centre Court, was an epic. Murray truly rolled back the years and seemed to be in the best physical shape he has been in for years, while Tsitsipas, who has been accused of losing focus recently, was hitting some phenomenal shots across the board.

So it was truly impressive that Murray led the contest by two sets to one at the end of the first day of play, because it meant that he was matching, and often bettering, Tsitsipas’ high level of tennis across the first three sets. Sadly, Tsitsipas returned to court the following day with no less drive or intensity, and it ultimately proved just a touch too much for Murray, who went toe-to-toe with the Greek until the very last moments of the match.

Elsewhere, Cam Norrie will be disappointed that he lost to American Chris Eubanks in the second round – Norrie was seeded 12th while Eubanks is only ranked 77th in the world, but the American has since reached the fourth round and is playing well, so it may not have just been a flash in the pan. Jan Choinski, meanwhile, was unable to cope with the huge serving of Polish 17th seed Hubert Hurkacz.

In the first round, Dan Evans’ poor form continued with a defeat to Quentin Halys, George Loffhagen and Arthur Fery both put in solid showings against seeded players Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev but were ultimately defeated, while Ryan Peniston was on the wrong end of Andy Murray’s first round victory on Centre Court on the second day.

There was also a British wildcard in the women’s draw who was the last Brit standing in the third round, and that was British number one Katie Boulter, who battled through two matches to reach the last 32 for the second year running. Boulter took out Daria Saville in straight sets in the first round and Viktoriya Tomova in the second – she won the first set 6-0 against the Bulgarian and looked to be running away with it before Tomova hit back in the second set, but Boulter remained solid, winning nine of eleven close games and winning points when it mattered to go through 6-0 3-6 6-3.

Unfortunately for Boulter, she was up against defending champion and third seed Elena Rybakina in the third round, and the Kazakh was simply unplayable – Boulter was demolished 6-1 6-1 in barely an hour.

Jodie Burrage accompanied Boulter into the second round of the Slam after she won 6-1 6-3 in the first round against Caty McNally. The result should see Burrage crack the top 100 for the first time in her career, which should make her progress at the higher-level events slightly easier. But elsewhere in the women’s draw, it was a host of first-round exits: Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Sonay Kartal and Heather Watson – all wildcards – lost in the first round, with only Dart managing to pick up at least one set in the process.

ATP Challenger Tour / WTA/ITF Futures Tour

75 Level

With Wimbledon taking up most of the agenda, there wasn’t a whole lot of action above the mid-levels of the Challenger and WTA tours this week.

One man in action at the CH75 in America was Aidan McHugh, who entered qualifying at the event in Bloomfield Hills and managed to get into the main draw with two straight-sets victories. McHugh was unlucky enough to run into former world number 21 in the first round, Steve Johnson, who would eventually end up winning the competition. It goes without saying that McHugh lost, but he put up a good fight, losing 7-6(7) 6-4 after a very tight first-set tiebreak.

50 Level

Portugal was where the majority of British women were in action at 50 Level this week, with seven Brits taking part in the ITF50 in Cantanhede. Five were in qualifying, with three making the main draw – Aryana Bartlett, Amelia Rajecki, and Holly Hutchinson. Alice Gillan and Summer Yardley weren’t quite as fortunate.

In the main draw, those three qualifiers joined Sarah Beth Grey and Katy Dunne, and again it was three through to the second round: Holly Hutchinson had a really tough draw against the top seed and fought bravely before eventually losing 7-6(7) 6-4, while Aryana Bartlett ran into a local favourite and fell 6-2 6-4. But Grey, Dunne, and particularly Rajecki did well in the first round: Rajecki won 7-6(1) 7-5 in a tight contest to secure her first ever ITF tour victory at this level, which will do wonders for her world ranking.

All three ladies were eliminated in the second round, but again Rajecki stood out, taking a set off the top seed before eventually running out of steam.

Elsewhere, Matilda Mutavdzic was in qualifying in Switzerland but couldn’t secure a place in the main draw, while in Spain, Emilie Lindh lost in the first round while Georgina Hays lost in qualifying.

25 Level

A decent number of Brits were in action at 25 Level this week, but Dan Cox will feel particularly hard done by with his draw at the ITF25 in France this week. He was seeded seventh, but his opponent, qualifier Antoine Bellier, was actually one of the highest-ranked men in the draw, having presumably entered qualifying in order to get more matches under his belt.

Cox promptly lost that first round match in straight sets, while Patrick Brady and Oscar Weightman played each other in the first round, with Brady coming out on top. Brady lost to the top seed in the second round, but he and Weightman did end up winning the doubles event, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted week for the pair of them.

Spain was host to a quarter-final appearance from Brit Felix Gill this week: Gill was unseeded and came past the second seed, Leo Borg of Sweden, in the second round. Up against the seventh seed, Inaki Montes-de-la-Torre in the quarter-finals, Gill lost a tight first set via a tiebreak, and his resistance was broken – he lost the second set 6-0 to exit the competition.

Elsewhere, in Italy, Anton Matusevich lost in the first round; in The Netherlands, Ying Hou and David Quayle lost in qualifying; and in Romania, Louis Allen lost 6-3 6-3 in the first qualifying round.

15 Level

After last week’s heroics from Oliver Tarvet in Tunisia, the 19-year-old was given a Special Exempt into the main draw at this week’s tournament, and was promptly drawn against the very player he beat in last week’s final. With both men very tired after their exertions the previous week, the match was somewhat bizarre, with a tight first set going the way of Igor Kudriashov 6-4, before Tarvet won the second 6-0 and his opponent won the decider, also 6-0.

There were plenty of other Brits in qualifying, but only one of them made the main draw: Luc Koenig, who has recently switched allegiance from South Africa to Britain, lost in the first round after an impressive qualifying effort. Ewan Moore reached the final qualifying round, but it was disappointment for Kai Cowcher, Kyle Rae, Elbert Barr, Kai Van-Roon Collins, Sam Bird, Mitchell Johnson, and Casper Nicolle.

Elsewhere, in China, Mattias Southcombe fell at the final qualifying hurdle, and the same happened to Giacomo Revelli in the US, although his compatriot, John Horoz Garner, lost even earlier, in the first qualifying round.

10 Level

There was only one event with British interest at the very lowest echelon of senior tennis this week, and that was in Tunisia. There was a deep run all the way to the semi-finals, too, for Amelia Bissett, who was granted a wildcard into the main draw and won three matches on the trot to reach an unexpected semi-final. She eventually lost to an Italian qualifier, Camilla Zanolini, who ended up winning the event, but nevertheless it was a good week for the 20-year-old.

Elsewhere in the draw, Abigail Amos lost in the first round, while Charlotte Russell beat Lucia Cassidy to earn a place in the main draw through qualifying before Bissett beat her in the first round. Naomi Jackson also lost out in qualifying.

Junior Tennis

J300 Level

As a warm-up event to next week’s junior Wimbledon, there was a J300 event in Roehampton this week on the grass for our young Brits to sink their teeth into. And there was a Boys’ semi-finalist and a Girls’ quarter-finalist to brag about. Let’s start with the boys.

Wildcard Viktor Frydrych was the unexpected semi-finalist for the boys – the 17-year-old’s draw opened up for him after he defeated the 16th seed in the second round, and it was only fine margins in the semi-final which prevented him from reaching the championship match: a 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 defeat to Joao Fonseca of Brazil saw him eliminated after a fine run.

Both Luca Pow and Henry Searle reached the third round – Searle beat the fifth seed in the opening round – while Charlie Robertson and Phoenix Weir, two more promising young British males, made the second round.

Isabelle Lacy was the star performer in the Girls’ draw, clearly using her recent senior-level experience to her advantage. Lacy eventually lost out to the seventh seed from Japan in the quarters, but will be pleased at going further than the likes of Mimi Xu and British junior number one Ella McDonald, who both reached the third round, alongside Given Roach. Hannah Klugman, Brooke Black, Ranah Stoiber, and Gabia Paskauskas all won one match to reach the second round.

J100 Level

Only one Brit in action at J100 level this week: Vlada Kozak continues her European tour: she was in Romania this week and lost in the second round.

J60 Level

After his heroics in Greece last week, Lawrie Wilkin was handed a Special Exempt into the J60 event in Ireland this week, and Wilkin continued his fine form, although didn’t quite get all the way to the final this time. He was, however, the last man standing in the Boys’ draw, reaching the quarter-finals before eventually going out in straight sets to eventual finalist James Lammas. Arthur Attrill also reached the quarters before retiring a set down.

There were two British semi-finalists in the Girls’ draw: Allegra K Davies, who entered as the top seed, and Annabel Hristova, who was the second seed. Both players marched past British and Irish players to make the semis before Irish girls eventually became their bane: both Davies and Hristova lost to local opposition in the last four. Isabella Wong and Serena Manca both reached the quarters.

Elsewhere, Kai-Luca Ampaw and Georgiana Mititelu made the second round at the J60 in Greece, while Tamar Kuti reached the last 16 in Belgium.

J30 Level


We almost had a double title at the J30 home event in Edinburgh this week, with a title for a young British female and a final appearance for a young British male in draws heavily populated by home-grown talent.

The title went to Sophia Christodoulou, a 15-year-old who has been attempting various J60 and J30 events over the course of the past year. This is easily her best result of the year, and she beat Norwegian seventh seed Elisabeth Braathen 7-5 6-7(7) 6-3 in a hugely competitive final to clinch the title. Aimee Knowles, the sixth seed, was beaten by Christodoulou in the semi-finals, while Sophia Fredericks-McKee reached the quarters.

In the Boys’ draw, Conor Flynn was the beaten finalist, losing 6-4 7-5 to Jamie Mackenzie of New Zealand in the final. Flynn, the fourth seed, has won a J30 this year already, back in February in Liverpool, and this will further boost the 17-year-old’s ranking. Alfie King, the third seed, was also beaten by Mackenzie in the semis, while there was a plethora of Brits beaten in the quarters: Enrico Franchi, qualifier Louis Hull, seventh seed Kouros Anssarizadeh, and second seed Joseph Mazingham.

Elsewhere, in Kenya, there were two semi-finalists: 16-year-old Rafael Kiss reached the semi-finals unseeded, while Ophelia K Davies did the same in the Girls’ draw as the eighth seed – she was unfortunate not to get to the final, losing 6-2 3-6 7-5. Meanwhile, Isabella Gibson lost in the first round in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Yash Bahalkar was beaten in the first round in Egypt.