Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Mark Gregory
9:54 PM 27th February 2023

British Tennis Watch – Week 8

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 8 – 20–26 February 2023

In this week’s edition:

Cam Norrie wins ATP 500 title in Rio.
Murray does ‘Andy Murray things’ in Qatar.
14-year-old Hannah Klugman wins sensational J200 title.

ATP/WTA Main Tour

1000 Level

There were two British women in action at the WTA 1000 in Dubai this week, but both of them – Harriet Dart and Eden Silva – lost in the first round of qualifying.

500 Level


It was another brilliant week for British number one Cameron Norrie in South America, as he reversed the result of last week’s 250 final in Argentina by overcoming world number two Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP 500 final in Rio de Janeiro.

Norrie and Alcaraz were once again the top two seeded players at the clay-court event in South America, and met again in the final after some getting through challenging matches earlier in the week. Norrie won his opening two matches in straight sets and watched as fellow seeds dropped out of the draw like flies, to such an extent that Norrie didn’t meet another seeded player until Alcaraz in the final. He defeated Bolivian Hugo Dellien 4-6 6-1 6-4 in the quarters before a tightly-fought final set tiebreak saw him get past Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain in the semis.

Norrie may count himself a little fortunate to have gotten past Alcaraz in the final. The Spaniard was not at his imperious best in the opening set but won it, before an injury in the second set meant he was forced to play aggressive tennis to keep the points as short as possible, To Norrie’s credit, though, he handled Alcaraz’s change of pace admirably, and fought back to win the match, and the title, 5-7 6-4 7-5 in an epic encounter.

Both Norrie and Alcaraz are unrelenting in their pace going forward – they will both line up, as it stands, in Acapulco, Mexico for the ATP 500 next week as well, with Norrie set to be seeded fifth.

250 Level

There was almost a Murray Miracle in Qatar this week, as the former British number one rolled back the years to reach the final of the ATP 250 in Doha before ultimately succumbing to the impeccable form of Daniil Medvedev in the title decider.

Murray, who seems to be allergic to straight-sets victories at the moment, needed three sets in all four of his matches to get through to the final as a wildcard, but that’s not the entire story. He saved three match points in his opening match against Lorenzo Song of Italy, lost more points but still won the match against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the second round, dropped the opener against French qualifier Alexandre Muller in the quarter-finals, and saved five (yes, five!) match points in two consecutive games against Jiri Lehecka in the semi finals to progress. Eventually the final was a step too far, but his run to the final sees him rise from 70th to 52nd in the world rankings – high enough to ensure he will no longer need wildcards for events of this calibre in the future.

Liam Broady and Dan Evans were also in Doha alongside Murray this week, and it would be remiss not to mention them – Broady came through qualifying and won his opener before also losing to Medvedev in straight sets in round two, while Dan Evans, seeded sixth, lost to Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the first round.

ATP Challenger Tour / WTA/ITF Futures Tour

100 Level

Jay Clarke and Ryan Peniston continue to buddy up for the Indian Challenger swing: they were both in action at the CH100 in Bengaluru this week. Jay was seeded third in qualifying but lost two Namibian Colin Sinclair in his first match. Peniston fared slightly better, earning a third seeding at the event thanks to his ranking and coming through his first match in straight sets, but he was eliminated in the second round by 21-year-old Frenchman Harold Mayot. Peniston will rue his missed opportunities, having failed to convert seven games during the match.

Jay Clarke and Ryan Peniston were once again in action at Challenger level, this week over in India at the CH100 in Chennai. After Ryan got the better of Jay in the first round in Tenerife last week, finally it was Jay’s turn to have a decent week, although both men suffered the same fate – defeat to Indian local favourite Suit Nagal, albeit in different rounds.

Peniston, the fourth seed at the event, fell to the Indian 6-4 6-4 in the first round, but Clarke managed a decent run to the quarter-finals – his best result this year so far, which included a hard-fought three-set victory over eighth seed Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria. But Clarke ran into Nagal as well in the quarter-finals, and he, too, was dispatched in straight sets, 6-1 6-4.

75 Level

A correction from last week’s round-up: the event that Jan Choinski, Charles Broom, and Stuart Parker were involved with last week in France was a CH75, not a CH90 as previously stated.

The three of them crossed a couple of borders to arrive in Italy this week for the Challenger event in Rovereto, and it was a modest week for the Brits. Stuart Parker didn’t make it out of qualifying but Charles Broom did, and was leading 6-2 4-0 when his first-round opponent retired through injury. Broom then came up against Italian third seed Guilio Zeppieri and gave a good account of himself, eventually going down 4-6 6-1 6-2. Choinski also made the last 16 before losing to top seeded Austrian Jurij Rodionov, also in three.

Broom’s result sees him rise to 357th in the world, just five spots short of his career-high ranking – so keep pushing onward, Charles!

Meanwhile, at another CH75 in Rome (the Rome in Georgia, USA, by the way), Alastair Gray made a solid run to the quarter-finals before he, too, was eliminated by the top seed – in this case, Aussie Jordan Thompson. Luke Johnson was also there in qualifying, but he lost in the first qualifying round.

70 Level

Two British ladies were in action at the ITF70 in France this week – 23-year-old Emily Appleton continues to have a mixed season so far – she lost in three tight sets to Chilean Daniela Seguel in the opening round of qualifying. This left Yuriko Miyazaki to fly the British flag in France, and a 6-3 6-0 win against an Italian lucky loser was followed by a straight-sets defeat to French sixth seed Jessika Ponchos in the last 16.

50 Level

There were some promising performances for British women in both Australia and Argentina this week. 25-year-old Naiktha Bains was on the grass at Swan Hill, Australia this week and finally found her rhythm Down Under, after two difficult weeks in the Southern Hemisphere earlier in the season. This week she got past the eighth seed followed by the third seed to reach the semi-finals, before eventually home favourite Maddison Inglis was too strong for her. Inglis will be Bains’ opponent again at next week’s similar event in Swan Hill – the two of them have been drawn against each other in the opening round, so it’s an immediate chance of revenge for the Brit.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Francesca Jones, whose career high ranking is within the top 150 but who has been out with injury since last year’s Australian Open, made an extremely promising run to the quarter-finals of the ITF50 on clay in Argentina. Jones came past third seed Carolina Alves en route to the quarters, and four competitive and injury-free matches will have done her recovery the world of good.

25 Level

Not a lot to write home about at ITF25 level for the British men – at the event in Faro, Portugal, Sean Hodkin and Mason Dace failed to make it out of qualifying (although Dace fell to a very aptly-named Portuguese player, Afonso Portugal), while in the main draw, Billy Harris, Aidan McHugh, and Felix Gill all lost in the opening round.

In Tunisia, it was a similar story: three men entered qualifying, and none of them emerged from the main draw. Freddy Blaydes got the furthest, making the final round of qualifying before his Greek opponent knocked him out, while Nicolas Philibert and Calum Fairey were unable to register even one win.

15 Level

There was an ITF15 in Tunisia this week, as well as a 25-Level event, and there was more British interest. Maceo Simpson retired from his opening qualifying match – get well soon, Maceo – while Elbert Barr earned a wildcard into the main draw but promptly lost 6-0 6-0.

Meanwhile, in Naples (also the American version), neither Adam Jones nor Toby Martin were able to get out of qualifying, while out in Sharm-el-Sheikh, 18-year-old Louis Bowden put together two excellent victories in qualifying, but couldn’t take the final step, losing 6-4 6-3 to Thai player, Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul.

10 Level

23-year-old Emilie Lindh took part in her first ITF event of the year in Sharm El-Sheikh this week, and made a pretty decent fist of it, reaching the quarter-finals as the fifth seed and claiming two ranking points for her troubles. Fellow Brit Abigail Amos was eliminated in qualifying, while the same four British ladies were trying to get through qualifying at the ITF10 in Manacor for the second straight week – Aryana Bartlett got the furthest this week, reaching the final qualifying round before losing. Sarah Tatu made the second qualifying round, while Niamh Campbell and Alisha Reayer failed to win their openers.

Junior Tennis

J500 Level

In the first J500-level event of the year, sole British hopeful Marelie Raath was handed a tough draw in her opening match in Cairo. She was up against ninth seed Malak El Allami of Morocco, ranked almost 150 places ahead of Raath in the junior rankings, and as expected, Raath found it difficult, going down 6-1 6-0 in what should be considered a learning curve for the 16-year-old.

J200 Level


It was a fantastic week for 14-year-old Hannah Klugman – who celebrated her 14th birthday on 18 February – after she added the J200 title to her list of reasons to celebrate this week. The rising star, who was seeded second in this event, had a wobble in her opening match before edging through 4-6 7-5 6-1, but after that it was plain sailing for the youngster, dropping only thirteen more games in her next four matches to surge to the title, even defeating 17-year-old Czech top seed Lucie Urbanova 6-4 6-1 in a dominant performance in the final.

The title puts Hannah 68th in the junior rankings – easily the youngest top 100 player, and with more to surely come over the next few months. Congratulations Hannah!

There was plenty of other British interest in the Girls’ draw, too: Given Roach reached the quarter-finals while Hannah Rylatt made the second round; Gabia Paskaukas and Daniela Piani couldn’t make it past the first round.

In the Boys’ draw, only in-form Charlie Robertson made it past the first round, but only to the last 16, as Viktor Frydrych, Luca Pow, and Henry Jefferson all lost, while Dilhan Wasantha couldn’t get out of qualifying.

J100 Level

Oliver Hague was the only British representative at J100 level this week, and he had a decent campaign in Wolfsberg, Austria, at the indoor event. He beat fourth seed Vojtech Vales en route to a quarter-final berth before eventually losing out to Croatian fifth seed Duje Markovina.

J60 Level


Another Hannah with a title this week: Hannah Read showed up in Warsaw, Poland this week as the top seed at the J60, and went all the way to the final and won it, losing only one set – the opening set of the final – in the process. That’s Read’s second straight title after winning the J100 in Slovakia last week – not a bad winning streak of 10 matches as it stands! Thomas Aston was also present, winning one match in the Boys’ Singles to reach the last 16.

It was also not a bad week for Kyle McKay at the J60 event in Luxembourg – the 17-year-old reached the final of the event as the second seed before succumbing to a strong performance from the top seed in the final. That’s McKay’s second final at this level this year, after he made a final in Belgium back in January. Zechariah Hamrouni was also here – he won one match to reach the last 16, but got no further.

J30 Level


17-year-old Emma Cohen won the J30 event in Bahrain this week as the third seed. She didn’t drop a single set en route to her title, winning 6-3 6-3 against Turkish sixth seed Ada Kumru in the championship-deciding match. Congratulations to Emma! Yash Bahalkar was also here representing the UK – he made the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere, Tamara Kuti reached the second round in Senegal, Charlie Ruffell did the same as a qualifier in the Netherlands, while Henry Best was unable to get past his first-round opponent in Finland.

UK Pro League

Week 3 of the UK Pro League took place this week at Gosling Tennis Centre, with the title heading to British players on both the Men’s and Women’s side of the draw for the first time this year. George Loffhagen was the champion of the Men’s section, defeating veteran Dan Cox 6-2 6-2 in the final. James Davis was the other British semi-finalist. Loffhagen’s win puts him top of the standings to qualify for the finals at the end of the year.

In the Women’s draw, Danielle Daley defeated Emma Wilson in a match tiebreak in the final to crown a British winner in the Women’s event for the first time this season. Jacquelin Ogunwale was the other British semi-finalist. Daley, who came third in the Week 1 event in January, is now second in the overall rankings behind Estonian Elena Malygina.

LTA British Tour

There was a Grade 2 event in Corby this week, with Jamie Crowfoot and Abby Kelliher defeating Fabio Nestola and Allegra K Davies in the Men’s and Women’s finals respectively.