The first three rounds of the second week of the ITF Juniors Grade 4 event in Nottingham are done and dusted, and while last week’s champion Aidan McHugh is still in with a chance of victory this week, Nell Miller’s 19-match winning streak came to an end in the third round earlier today.
The first quarter-final will see top seed Aidan McHugh (UTR 12.93) play eighth seed Neil Oberleitner of Austria (UTR 11.86). McHugh’s path to the quarters was perhaps a little easier than expected, with 14th seed Anton Ornberg (UTR 12.11) succumbing to a pretty huge UTR upset against Brit Julian Lewis (UTR 10.98) in the first round, losing 6-2 6-1. Lewis progressed all the way to the third round where he faced up to McHugh and was promptly thrashed 6-2 6-0. The only Brit to make it past the first round in Oberleitner’s section was 11th seed Max Benaim, who won his first round match against fellow Brit Sean Hodkin but got no further.
In the second semi-final, George Loffhagen (UTR 12.27) will face Dutch fourth seed Ryan Nijboer (UTR 12.70) in a match which may well go the way of the Dutchman. Loffhagen has impressed this week so far, though, beating 5th seed Adam Jones (UTR 12.35) in the third round to set up the semi-final clash with Nijboer. Nijboer has claimed some excellent scalps though, having to come past Daniel Bennett (UTR 12.73) and 16th seed Dominic West (UTR 13.17) to reach the quarter-finals – although both British men lack competitive match practice so far this year.
It’s an all-British bottom half as 12th seed Joshua Rose (UTR 11.70) and unseeded Harry Butler (UTR 11.51) face off in the third semi-final, while big-guns Anton Matusevich (UTR 12.93) and second seed Matthew Summers (UTR 12.59) are set for a showdown in the fourth. Rose did excellently to come past Italian Nicola Vidal (UTR 12.43) while Butler knocked out British third seed Louis Newman (UTR 12.38) in the second round, but it’s likely the winner of that match-up will be beaten by either Matusevich or Summers in the semi-final.
14-year-old Matusevich hasn’t dropped a set all week yet, although his potential crunch match with ninth seed Alexander Carlos Parker was ruined somewhat by Parker’s withdrawal after injury in the second set. Matusevich will be fresher than Summers, who has come through relatively unscathed save for a three-set epic against Guy Stokman (UTR 12.14) 5-7 7-5 6-3 in the second round.
Predicted Final: McHugh beats Matusevich
We’re only guaranteed one British semi-finalist this week and may not have any Brits in the final after the foreigners slightly spoiled the party. The guaranteed semi-finalist will be one of top seed Eden Richardson (UTR 10.43) or 10th seed Maria Budin (UTR 9.54), after Eden defeated Erin Richardson (UTR 8.90, not sisters, despite the name) 6-3 6-2 in the third round. Credit must go to youngster Holly Staff (UTR 9.05), who at thirteen managed her first career ITF main draw victory as a wildcard before being beaten by Budin in the second round.
Eleventh seed Olivia Elliott (UTR 8.96) will try and make her way past unseeded Swede Sydney Berlin (UTR 9.06) in the second quarter-final after fortuitously coming through against Belgian seventh seed Victoria Kalaitzis after the Belgian retired while trailing 2-5 in the first set. Berlin navigated a tricky draw, including defeating third seeded Brit Camille Verden Anderson (UTR 9.58) 6-4 6-4 in the second round.
The third quarter-final is a non-Brit affair, with Danish wildcard Clara Tauson (UTR 9.83) facing 16th seeded Belgian Louise Wittouck (UTR 9.46). Tauson is 13 years old and coming fresh off the Tennis Europe tour and a Grade 5 title earlier in the year, so could be a prospect to look out for in years to come. Only sixth seed Alexandra Hunter and unseeded Lauren Armstrong were British winners in this entire quarter of the draw.
Swede Alexandra Viktorovitch (UTR 9.70) has been a real party pooper in the bottom quarter of the draw, having defeated Ellie-Rose Griffiths (UTR 10.15) and Nell Miller (UTR 10.42) in consecutive rounds to reach the quarters. She’ll face British ninth seed Anna Loughlan (UTR 10.17), who made the quarters here last week and lost to Griffiths; will the Swede have enough to take out her third successive 10+ rated Brit?