The AEGON British Tour once again swung into action this week with a Tier 2 event in Bolton. Qualifying and the first two rounds of the main draw have been played, and there have been a few surprises along the way.
In the Men’s draw, the most immediate shock was the defeat of Mason Recci, the only ATP-ranked player in the draw, against junior Louis Newman, who had hightailed it back from Uzbekistan just in time for this week’s event. Not only was Newman’s 6-4 7-5 victory a huge shock in terms of seedings, but it was almost a Universal Tennis Rating upset: with Newman currently sitting at 12.40 and Recci at 13.33, Newman did exceptionally well to pick up that victory against a player two years his elder.
Newman is still standing in the quarters, having beaten qualifier Ewan Wilson-Baig in the second round, and he’ll play seventh seed Rohan Sikka for a place in the semis. Newman has a great chance to defeat Sikka, whose UTR is at 12.21. In the other top-half quarter-final, fourth seed Peter Ashley will play eighth seed Ben Jones.
The bottom half was partially moulded by the withdrawal of sixth seed Michael Shaw, which allowed lucky loser Edward Colclough to chance upon a place in the main draw. Colclough won his first match but couldn’t beat qualifier Cheraag Bajwa in the second round, meaning Bajwa will face now-favourite Clay Crawford, the second seed, in the bottom quarter-final. Unseeded Matthew Chadwick defeated third seed Dominic Beesley in the second round to set up a quarter-final against fifth seed Simon Roberts.
In the women’s draw, only four seeds remain, with the three of the four top-half quarter-finalists being qualifiers. In the top quarter, qualifier Tamara Malazonia scored a great victory over seventh seed Hannah McColgan 6-4 6-0 and she will meet fellow qualifier Jessica Zeynel, who made the most of top seed Helen Parish’s retirement after five games. Below them, third seed Serena Nash, enjoying a decent spell of form, will play another qualifier, Anna Popescu, who herself has recorded some decent victories of late, including this week’s scalp, beating eighth seed Alice Gillan in the first round.
In the bottom half, the only player gatecrashing the seed party is Olivia Peet, who took out sixth seed Lily Ghodrati in the first round and will play fourth seed Mollie Crouch in the quarters. Underneath them, fifth seed Ceire Mullins will play second seed Samantha Murray, who is returning to the game after a long absence, having not played competitively since 2014. Despite being seeded, the Brit is a little bit of a wildcard in terms of the level of her game, having once been ranked as highly as #165 in the world, so it will be interesting to see if her innate skill will carry her to the title.