BritWatch is our regular Friday piece introducing where each of our British players is playing in the upcoming week, whether it be on the ATP/WTA tours, the ITF Futures circuit, or further down at national, junior and collegiate level.
Week 20 – 16th – 23rd May 2016
It’s Grand Slam time again. Not quite main draw action just yet, but we have some Brits in qualifying this week for the French Open, which is just around the corner. Elsewhere, there’s a couple of ATP and WTA events a piece, plenty of Challenger action, and the third AEGON British Tour three-day event in four weeks.
ATP World Tour
Two Brits are entered into French Open qualifying: James Ward will be attempting to dispel his recent poor form with a decent run through qualifying, while Brydan Klein has recovered from injury just in time to give Slam qualifying a bash. The rust will no doubt be visible, but Klein has the mentality and the quality to make it through a round or two. In the draw, Klein has been drawn against 10th seed Sergiy Stakhovsky, while Ward takes on Italian Matteo Donati. Meanwhile, at the ATP 250 in Nice, Kyle Edmund is in qualifying.
There’s loads of Brits staying out in South-East Asia for the third Challenger of the year in Bangkok, Thailand, a $50k + H event. Dan Evans was in the main draw but has withdrawn, but Liam Broady and Alex Ward are direct entrants. Lloyd Glasspool is top seed in qualifying, with Ed Corrie seeded fifth and James Marsalek also in action.
Rhett Purcell steps up a level to $25k qualifying in China. He’s the only male Brit involved at $25k level. Dylan Gee is once again in qualifying in Algeria, while Daniel Gunn is in qualifying in Bulgaria. In Croatia, Toby Martin makes the main draw while Kristian Newman and Martin Baker are both in qualifying. In Israel, only George Davies makes the trip to Ramat Gan, and he’s in qualifying. Farris Gosea is in qualifying in Mexico City, and Joe Cooper could sneak in to the qualifying draw, and he’s first alt. In Portugal, there’s decent British interest: Scott Clayton is in the main draw and Jonny O’Mara, Billy Harris and Marcus Walters all join him in qualifying. Zak Khan is in qualifying in Spain. Dan Dowson is once again in the main draw in Tunisia, while James Allemby is in qualifying. In Turkey, Joshua Paris makes the main draw while Matthew Chadwick and young Ewen Lumsden are both in qualifying.
AEGON British Tour
There’s a third three-day event (Tier 2) taking place in Connaught this weekend. Six players with a 1.1 LTA Rating are involved, including Joe Salisbury, Robbie Ridout and Joshua Sapwell, and it’s likely one of these three will take the crown. Watch out for Harry Skinner and Frenchman Michael Suleau, who could pose a threat to the three favourites.
Not a huge amount of the junior events going on this week, but there is a big Grade A happening in Italy. Jay Clarke and Ryan Storrie are ranked highly enough to make the main draw, while Alexis Canter, Alastair Gray and Ewan Moore are all in qualifying. Further down the spectrum, Barnaby Smith is in Grade 4 main draw action in Montenegro, while at the Grade 4 in Hungary, Jack Draper is in the main draw, with Zyaan Ahmed and Jordan Bough in qualifying.
No Brits in action in RG qualifying for the women, so the major name this week is Heather Watson, who is in the main draw of the WTA International in Strasbourg, France. She plays Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round.
At the $50k in Japan, Katy Dunne is in the main draw. Amanda Carreras stays up a notch from $10k level with a $25k event in Italy: once again, she’s in qualifying. Meanwhile, at the $25k in Korea, Freya Christie is out here in the main draw, and is joined by Harriet Dart who hops over from Turkey. The rest of the events are all $10k level: Jovana Knezevic is in qualifying in Croatia and should be seeded, while young Francesca Jones is in qualifying in Tunisia. Finally, in Turkey, Francesca Stephenson, Maia Lumsden and Jazzamay Drew are all in the main draw, with Lisa Phillips in qualifying.
AEGON British Tour
There are no LTA 1.1-rated players in this weekend’s Tier 2 event, but Holly Hutchinson is the most likely to secure the title as the only 1.2-rated player in the draw. She could be challenged by Louise Holtum and Mollie Crouch, though, and the winner is likely to be one of those three.
As expected, Katie Swan and Emily Appleton are both entered for the main draw at the Grade A event in Italy this week, and we wish them both the best of luck in this elite tournament. At the Grade 4 event in Morocco, Eleanor Scarff and Sonay Kartal are both entered into qualifying, while in Hungary, Gemma Heath is set to be the second seed.