Joshua Sapwell claimed his second successive AEGON British Tour title this weekend at a 3-day event in Newcastle, while top seed Louise Holtum won her first event since the very first British Tour competition this season at the end of December in Graves.
Hey guys, just won another title up here in Newcastle. 2 in a row 🏼 next up, Norwich on Thursday
— Josh Sapwell (@JoshSapwell) May 2, 2016
Sapwell once again came form a 5th seeded position in the field and came past two higher-seeded players in the semi-finals and final to pick up the trophy. In fact, in a field with two ATP-ranked men, it was Sapwell and fellow unranked player Clay Crawford, seeded third, who faced off in the final after top seed Samuel Ferguson and second seed Marcus Walters were dispatched in the quarters and semi-finals respectively.
There were two unseeded players who made the quarters, with Elliot Farmer defeating 7th seed Harvey Shackleton in the second round and Matthew Chadwick getting the better of Neil Cordon, the eighth seed, in the opening round. But Walters, Sapwell (who beat 4th seed Sam price 6-1 6-0), Crawford and Ferguson completed a fairly strong looking semi-final line-up, with only Crawford struggling through his quarter-final match, winning 10-4 in a match tiebreak against Elliot Farmer.
Crawford came through a tight 7-6(4) 6-3 match-up with Ferguson to reach the final, while Sapwell also had to navigate a tiebreak, winning 7-6(6) 6-1 against Walters, before a routine 6-4 6-2 victory for Sapwell in the final settled matters for another weekend.
In the women’s draw, there was a shock early exit for second seed Anna Loughlan, who has enjoyed some excellent form of late. Loughlan fell in the second round to Bronte Murgett, who eventually reached the semi-finals as the only non-seed: the rest were top seed Holtum, third seed Sofie Woon, and fourth seed Camille Verden-Anderson. Credit to Anna Popescu who once again demonstrated she is better than her LTA Ranking suggests by reaching another quarter-final unseeded.
Holtum came past Woon with ease, winning 6-1 6-1 to book her place in the final, while Murgett held her own against Camille Verden-Anderson, taking the fourth seed to a first set tiebreak before fading in the second, going down 7-6(5) 6-1. That led to a Verden-Anderson vs Holtum final, with the top seed triumphing 6-4 6-3 to claim her second AEGON British Tour title of the season.