Ryan Storrie is the last remaining Brit in junior action this week after successfully recaching the final of the ITF Juniors Grade 1 event in Charleroi, Belgium with a string of excellent victories, including a year-high rankings scalp in today’s semi-finals. Elsewhere, Max Stewart made the semi-finals of the Grade 2 event in Budapest, while Summer Yardley made the quarters at the Grade 5 in Georgia.
— Astrid Bowl (@astrid_bowl) May 27, 2016
Storrie and British Junior #1 Jay Clarke both reached the quarter-finals of the event with second round victories, with Clarke, seeded third, coming past Brandon Holt of the United States thanks to a walkover, and Storrie easing past 10th seeded Brazilian Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 7-5 6-2. It was in the quarters where Clarke came unstuck, though, falling in a tight 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1 defeat to sixth seed Benjamin Sigouin of Canada, while Storrie continued to march onward, beating Bolivian Juan Carlos Manuel Aguilar 6-2 6-4, and then today winning 7-5 6-2 against American fifth seed John McNally.
In the final, Storrie faces Clarke’s conqueror, Benjamin Sigouin, who has won eight of his last ten matches on clay and six of his eight matches against top 30 players in the last twelve months. The pair are split by just five ITF rankings positions, so it looks set to be a humdinger of a final in Belgium.
At the Grade 2 event in Hungary, Jeremy Gschwendter successfully made it through the final round of qualifying and joined Gemma Heath, Lauryn John-Baptiste, Max Stewart and Jake Hersey in the main draw. Only Heath failed to make it past the first round, with the 14-year-old outranked and outplayed by third seed Mihaela Lorena Marculescu of Romania 6-4 6-2. Gschwendtner, Hersey and John-Baptiste all fell in the last-16, with qualifier Gschwendtner putting up a decent battle against Simon Carr of Ireland, eventually being gunned down 6-4 6-4, while Hersey fell 6-3 7-6(4) to second seed Karlo Boljat of Croatia in another decent effort. John-Baptiste also fell to a seed, losing 6-3 6-2 to Slovakian 4th seed Viktoria Morvayova.
That left just Max Stewart, who chugged through the draw under the radar before meeting top seeded Ukrainian Nikita Mashtakov, who put an end to the Brit’s run with a 6-4 6-3 defeat – not a bad effort against a player pushing for the top 100 in the junior rankings and already ranked on the ATP Tour.
At Grade 4 level, Jack Draper continued his tricky spell of form with a second round defeat to Robin Erik Parts in Tallinn. Draper, seeded fourth, has won a Grade 4 event this year but his last two results have been a little underwhelming. Ryan Gaskin was also in action in Estonia, but fell in the first round. Meanwhile, over in Sweden, 14-year-old Harry Wendelken reached the second round of the Grade 4 in Ljusseveka before a tight defeat to third seed Johannes Foss Abrahamsen 6-7(5) 6-2 6-2.
Finally, at the Grade 5 event in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sasha Southgate fell in the first round, while qualifier Tamara Malazonia lost 6-3 6-4 to second seed Ana Makatsaria of Georgia in the second. Star performer here was Summer Yardley, who eventually lost 6-0 6-3 to unranked (but not for long) Russian Darya Astakhova, who is playing in her first ever ITF Junior event and has since reached the final.