With the Grade 4 Nike Junior International in Nottingham in full swing this week, and the semi-finals taking place today, it’s time to take a look and see how our predictions are doing in comparison to the real thing, and which Brits look like they’re heading into the final.
Predicted Quarter-Final:  Jake Hersey vs  Ewen Lumsden
What Happened: In somewhat of an anti-climax, Jake Hersey (UTR 12.58) ended up meeting fellow Brit Harry Butler (UTR 11.44) in the quarter-finals here, and the match has already been played, with Hersey winning 6-1 6-0 to ease into the semi-finals. That said, Butler did very well to get that far, but he was aided somewhat along the way after fifth seed Ewen Lumsden (UTR 12.57) withdrew from his second round match against Christian Mills (UTR 10.88), thoroughly easing up Butler’s passage into the quarter-finals. That said, Butler overcome UTR deficits in his first round encounter against Italian Matteo Contarino (UTR 11.57) and his second round match against 12th seed Neil Oberleitner (UTR 11.81) of Austria. Hersey’s route has been a simple one, having not dropped a set in any of his opening three matches. He’s looking strong, but his semi-final will be a real test.
Predicted Quarter-Final: Marceau Courtalon [FRA] vs Anton Matusevich
What Happened: Well, we were spot on. Later today, the Frenchman Marceau Courtalon (UTR 12.71) will face Anton Matusevich (UTR 12.85) for the chance to play Hersey in the semi-finals. As predicted, Courtalon’s first round match with fourth seed Louis Newman (UTR 12.33) was extremely tight, with the Frenchman coming through on a match tiebreak 10-8, and the Frenchman had a little more trouble overcoming Dutch Alexander Jong (UTR 11.33) in the second round than would have been expected, but regardless, he’s there. Matusevich successfully came through one of the toughest sections of the draw, but not without a couple of close shaves, most notably against fellow 2001-born youngster Jack Draper (UTR 12.51) in the third round. Matusevich came past James Story (UTR 9.96) with predictable ease before dropping a set against Jeremy Gschwendtner’s conqueror Riccardo Di Nocera (UTR 12.27) before the real humdinger against Draper. Matusevich, as predicted, gained revenge on Draper for his defeat in Oslo with a tough 7-6(3) 3-6 7-6(7) victory to put him within touching distance of the final.
Predicted Quarter-Final: Andrea Trapani [ITA] vs  Damian Rodriguez
What Happened: Something completely different, but not entirely unexpected. Seventh seeded Brit Adam Jones (UTR 12.27) will play 13th seeded Italian Francesco Liucci (UTR 12.29) in what on paper looks like a close match. This was one of the trickiest sections of the draw to call, simply because there were no stand-out players and a couple of players with high UTRs but very little recent competitive experience. The highest rated players in the quarter were Daniel Bennett (UTR 12.69) and Dominic West (UTR 12.89), but I predicted them to falter simply because they hadn’t played competitive tennis this year. Indeed, Liucci defeated them both in successive first and second round victories. Liucci then defeated Dutchman Guy Stokman (UTR 12.06) who had beaten third seed Rodriguez (UTR 12.42) in a close three-set match in the second round. As for Trapani (UTR 12.43), he was beaten by Adam Jones in the second round, with Jones proceeding to reach the quarter-finals at his expense.
Predicted Quarter-Final:  Ryan Nijboer [NED] vs  Aidan McHugh
What Happened: We were half-right. Nijboer (UTR 12.64) was a match away from reaching the quarter-finals but was usurped by British ninth seed Alexander Carlos Parker (UTR 12.47) in a predictably close match, 0-6 6-4 6-2. As expected, second seed Aidan McHugh (UTR 12.83) made light work of his section, coming past George Loffhagen (UTR 12.13) in the first round before a straightforward victory over Joshua Farmer (UTR 11.38) preceded a 6-1 7-5 win over Emile Hudd (UTR 11.64). McHugh and Parker have already played their semi-final, with McHugh securing a 6-0 3-6 6-1 victory.
Predicted Quarter-Final:  Nell Miller vs  Victoria Kalaitzis [BEL]
What Happened: A huge performance from Jodie Lawrence-Taylor (UTR 8.97) is what happened. The 15-year-old wildcard secured three victories against the Universal Tennis Rating to put herself in the quarter-finals against Nell Miller (UTR 10.41). Spurred on by a first round victory against the very player we predicted to reach the quarters, Belgian Kalaitzis (UTR 9.86), Lawrence-Taylor went on to defeat Hannah McColgan (UTR 9.81) in straight sets and seventh seed Molly Helgesson (UTR 9.29) of Sweden, also in straight sets, to book a place in the quarters. Nell Miller passed her early tests very easily, winning 6-3 6-2 against Anna Jovanovic (UTR 10.18) and 6-1 7-5 against 13th seed Svenja Ochsner (UTR 10.18) to demonstrate that perhaps she is a little too good for this level of tennis. In the quarter-final, Miller did defeat Lawrence-Taylor 6-1 6-2 to reach the semis.
Predicted Quarter-Final:  Anna Loughlan vs Ellie-Rose Griffiths
What Happened: Spot on. 14th seed Anna Loughlan (UTR 10.01) played Ellie-Rose Griffiths (UTR 10.13) after both lived up to their Universal Tennis Rating predictions, being the only two girls in the draw with UTRs of 10 or above. Until the third round, Loughlan had predictably simple victories, winning 6-4 6-2 vs Cloe Ruette of Belgium (UTR 9.10) before a 6-1 6-0 win over Millie Devey-Smith (UTR 8.14). Polish qualifier Karolina Wisniewska (UTR 9.28) caused her the most problems in a 6-2 1-6 6-4 victory. Griffiths had a slightly tougher time of it, partially due to the higher calibre of opponent she had to face. A routine first round victory was backed up by a 7-5 6-3 win over Ireland’s Sophia Derivan (UTR 9.53), before Slovenian fifth seed Nika Zupancic (UTR 9.77) pushed her all the way in a 7-5 6-7(4) 6-2 classic. In a somewhat anti-climactic quarter-final, though, Griffiths beat Loughlan 6-2 6-1, and will face Miller for a place in the final.
Predicted Quater-Final: Kristyna Lavickova [CZE] vs [WC] Sonay Kartal
What Happened: Well, I wasn’t hugely far away. Sonay Kartal (UTR 10.07) did make the quarters despite a tough section to navigate, and Czech Lavickova (UTR 10.13) was one win away before French ninth seed Clara Burel (UTR 9.95) defeated her in a three-set thriller 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2. There were some excellent results too for 13-year-old Amarni Banks (UTR 9.26), who came past Italian 4th seed Giulia La Rocca (UTR 9.20) as expected in the first round before overcoming a UTR deficit in the second against fellow Brit Georgie Walker (9.43) before meeting her match in Kartal. There wasn’t a huge amount of British interest in Burel section, with sixth seed Camille Verden Anderson (UTR 9.57) getting the furthest before Lavickova defeated her in straight sets. In the quarter-final match, Kartal narrowly lost 3-6 6-2 6-3 to the Frenchwoman.
Predicted Quarter-Final:  Giulia Morlet [FRA] vs  Esther Adeshina
What Happened: Again, we were half-right, with Morlet (UTR 9.95) reaching the quarters and Adeshina (UTR 10.04) coming within a match but being defeated by Swede Alexandra Almborg (UTR 9.68) in the third round 6-2 6-3. In terms of British interest, 16th seed Olivia Elliott (UTR 8.86) did well to come past France’s Carole Monnet (UTR 8.97) in the first round before losing to Almborg, while Olivia Peet (UTR 9.41) gave Morlet a run for her money before falling to an anticipated 4-6 6-4 6-1 defeat. In the quarter-final itself, Morlet defeated Almborg 6-2 6-2 to set up an all-French semi-final against Burel.