Top seed Emma Hurst came away with the title at the BUCS Tennis Individual Championships in Loughborough this weekend after four weeks of regional qualifiers, defeating second seed Olivia Nicholls in the final. Canadian Milan Pokrajac claimed the Men’s Singles title.
— BUCS (@BUCSsport) March 6, 2016
— BUCS (@BUCSsport) March 6, 2016
It was a tournament of very few shocks as top seeds in both the Men’s and Women’s Singles reached the final, while seeds occupied 15 of the 16 quarter-final places in both draws.
In the top quarter of the Men’s draw, top seed Mark Whitehouse, representing Imperial College London and ranked inside the top 1000 of the ATP Tour, played eighth seed Scott Duncan of Stirling. Whitehouse dropped the first set but went on to win 4-6 6-3 6-1 to claim a semi-final berth. He went on to play fourth seed Peter Ashley, who took out Kirill Sinistsyn, the seventh seed, in straight sets. Whitehouse was the victor in the semi, winning 6-3 6-3 against Ashley to book a spot in the final.
In the third quarter, eventual champion Pokrajac played sixth seed Adam Glynn, representing Bournemouth, with the Canadian taking a win in two close sets 6-3 7-6(4). Pokrajac played Jonathan Binding in the second semi-final after Binding, from Durham, defeated Michael Suleau 7-6(3) 6-4 and become the lowest seeded player, at number nine, to reach the semi-finals. But it didn’t last, with Pokrajac defeating the Brit 6-2 6-1 to set up a final against Whitehouse.
Whitehouse, the defending champion of the competition, was unable to retain his crown in a relatively straightforward final, the 28-year-old Canadian winning 6-4 6-2 to the delight of the Durham University fans.
In the Women’s draw, it was a a top seed one-two as Emma Hurst, the only WTA Ranked player in the competition, dropped just thirteen games in four matches en route to the title.
Hurst came through the top quarter after defeating ninth seed Jessica Ren 6-2 6-0 to reach the semi-finals. There she faced young Louise Holtum, representing Loughborough University, who had benefitted from Olivia Smith, her quarter-final opponent, retiring with the scores level at one set all. Holtum was no match for Hurst, going down 6-0 6-3.
The only non-seed to reach the quarter-finals was Joanna Kondratowicz, representing the University of Bristol. Kondratowicz benefitted from the fifth seed’s first round exit and took on seventh seed Natasha Starling in the quarters, but fell 6-1 6-0. Starling faced second seed Olivia Nicholls, representing Loughborough, in the semi-final after Nicholls defeated sixth seed Amy Hoburn in the bottom quarter-final. Nicholls set up a final against Hurst with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Hoburn.
Emma Hurst completed her whitewash of the opposition with a 6-2 6-0 victory in the final against Nicholls, claimed a deserved title.
Hurst and Nicholls were against each other again in the doubles final: Hurst teamed up with fellow Bath student Natasha Starling while Nicholls paired up with Louise Holtum, and Nicholls exacted revenge with a 10-7 victory in a third set champions tiebreak. In the Men’s Pokrajac completed a dual victory with his partner Kirill Sinitsyn, defeating fifth seeds Scott Duncan and Scott MacAuley from Stirling 6-1 6-0 in the final.
For full results and draws from this year’s competition, click here.