Our weekly feature, Brits of the Week, assesses the three most impactful British players from the week just gone, in the opinion of our correspondent Sam Barker.
Smart scheduling decisions are a major part of tennis. That’s why you may (or may not) have noticed my absence from Brits of the Week last week. With a busy summer of tennis coming up, I made the smart scheduling decision to take my summer holiday early (and absolutely not just because flights were cheaper). For one week only I left you in the frantically busy hands of Mark Gregory but this week I am back and once again our beloved Brits have made my life very difficult.
#3 – Jamie Murray – Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters: Runner-Up (Doubles)
There is something encapsulating about Jamie Murray this year as the Scot continues to hold the bragging rights over his more decorated younger brother. Although it was a titleless week it was another final in a major tournament as Jamie and Bruno Soares made it to their first Masters final.
A first round bye helped out the fourth seeds, who were faced with the task of experienced veterans Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek in the second round. After overcoming them with a 14-12 deciding tie-break victory they then stormed past Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea before upsetting second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.
They may have lost to the high-flying French pair of Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the final but that is nothing to be ashamed of considering the Frenchmen have won every Masters event this year. With clay traditionally Jamie’s weakest surface, it is pleasing to see him reach his first ever Masters’ final on the red dirt.
#2 – Lloyd Glasspool – Greece F4 Futures (10K): Runner-Up (Singles and Doubles)
Lloyd has started 2016 in the same way he ended 2015; making steady progress up the rankings. This week the College graduate was in action in Greece, where he made the finals of both the singles and doubles events to continue his solid form.
Congrats to Longhorn @LloydGlasspool for reaching both the singles and doubles finals in the Greece futures last week!
— Bruce Berque (@bberque) April 17, 2016
Seeded fifth, proceedings seemed to be going a little too smoothly for Lloyd as he met not one, not two, but three qualifiers in a row in his opening rounds. The real test came in the semi-final where he faced second seed Darian King. A three and two victory is extremely impressive against a former top #200 player.
Top seed Yannick Mertens would prove too much in the final but with a combined nine matches under his belt this week, it was another week with plenty of experience gained. It is hard not to be cautiously optimistic about Lloyd given the consistency and steady nature of his rise. Could he be top #300 by the end of the year? I certainly don’t see why not!
— BromleyTCPerformance (@BTCPerformance) April 17, 2016
#1 – Nell Miller – Nike Junior International Nottingham (Week 1 – G4): Champion (Singles)
If there is one very simple way to get your name on this list, it’s to win matches. If there is a way to ensure you remain on the list, it’s to win sixteen of them in a row. Nell Miller looks virtually unstoppable at the moment, as the 16 year old extends her year record to 21-1.
Last year Nell reached the quarter-finals on the hard courts of Nottingham but this year she took it to another level, claiming the title and her third Grade 4 trophy of the year. During the six matches she competed in, only one set was dropped, a surprising bagel dished out by Ellie-Rose Griffiths.
There is simply no doubt now that Nell needs to make the transition to a higher standard; both her results and ranking demand it. However, before she does she is in action once more in Nottingham. Can she make it four trophies out of five tournaments this week? You would be a fool to bet against her.
Just Missed Out
Aidan McHugh – Won the Boys title in Nottingham but crashed out of the doubles in the opening round. Excellent first title of the year though in the Midlands.
— judy murray (@judmoo) April 16, 2016
Ali Collins – Demonstrated the ability that she has with a superb second round win over the eighth seed. Fell in the semi-final to an extremely capable top #100 player.
Dan Cox – Continues to promise on his return from a long period away from the court. Another semi-final performance, this time in Doha.
Do you agree with my decision? Who is your Brit of the Week?