In a generally quiet week of ITF Futures action across the globe (this article doesn’t touch upon the events happening this week in the UK), Amanda Carreras is at the highest profile event and has done well to reach the main draw after coming through a couple of tough qualifying matches. In other news, 19-year-old Laura Sainsbury has won four matches in a row to pick up only her second ever senior main draw victory in Spain.
— Point To Prove (@PointToProve_) May 31, 2016
We’ll start with Carreras, who hit a new career high a couple of weeks back of #285, and is due to further add to that tally after a remarkable season turnaround after a horrendous start to 2016. The Brit, who was seeded third in qualifying, came past two French ladies, Jessica Ponchet and the dangerous Manon Arcangioli to secure a main draw berth and six more WTA Ranking points. A tough draw against seventh seed Silvia Soler-Espinosa has been her reward, but Carreras’ qualification has already made the week worthwhile; anything more would be a big bonus.
At $25k level, less to cheer about: Gabi Taylor had to qualify for this week’s Uzbek tournament and managed to do so, securing herself a single point to add to the several she has collected so far this year. However, she was drawn against second seed and world #203 Barbora Stefkova in the first round, and despite pushing the Czech all the way, eventually succumbed 6-4 5-7 6-4 in a narrow, agonising defeat. Elsewhere, Rhett Purcell also made the main draw of the $25k in China, but fell 6-2 6-1 to sixth seed Raymond Sarmiento of the United States in a one-sided affair.
The real success story of the $10ks has been Laura Sainsbury this week. The 19-year-old qualified for the event in Spain and then proceeded to win her second ever senior main draw match, beating a fellow unranked qualifier Ana Roman Dominguez 6-4 6-3. The Brit has hinted at progress this year with some decent British Tour results, most notably reaching the Tier 1 semi-finals in Taunton last October, and has finally reaped the rewards with a senior victory. The next one might not come so easily though; the fourth seed Harmony Tan of France awaits.
In Tunisia, newly-converted Brit Dan Dowson continues to secure some decent and consistent first round wins, his latest coming against Tunisian wildcard Ahmed Triki, who hasn’t played on the ITF circuit for over two years. Dowson took advantage of some rust to win 7-5 6-2. 15-year-old Francesca Jones, who needs just one win this week to gain a WTA Ranking for the first time, is still to play her first round match in northern Africa. James Allemby lost in the first round of qualifying.
Turkey, as usual, was a hotbed of British activity, but only one player is left standing after a brutal couple of early rounds. Four Brits made the final round of qualifying, but top seed Joshua Paris, Scott Duncan, Jamie Praditngam and last week’s success story Suzy Larkin all fell at the final hurdle, while Jazzamay Drew fell to the fourth seed in the first round proper. That leaves just Francesca Stephenson, who defeated 8th seed Dana Kremer of Germany 6-1 6-4, still in with a shot. She now plays Kiwi Joanna Carswell, who qualified past Suzy Larkin this week, in the second round.
Finally, two more first round defeats to round up: Farris Gosea has been unable to rekindle the form that saw him reach a $10k final a couple of weeks ago; he lost in the first round earlier today in Mexico. Meanwhile, seventh seed Laura Deigman fell to a sixth straight defeat after losing 6-3 6-2 to Mathilde Devits of Belgium in the first round in Israel.
R2: [Q] Laura Sainsbury (Spain $10k); Dan Dowson (Tunisia $10k); Francesca Stephenson (Turkey $10k)
R1: [Q] Amanda Carreras (France $100k); [WC] Francesca Jones (Tunisia $10k) [Q] Rhett Purcell (China $25k); [Q] Gabi Taylor (Uzbekistan $25k);  Laura Deigman (Israel $10k); Farris Gosea (Mexico $10k); Jazzamay Drew (Turkey $10k)
FQR: [q1] Joshua Paris, Scott Duncan, Jamie Praditngam, Suzy Larkin (Turkey $10k)
QR1: Samuel Beddow (Mexico $10k); James Allemby (Tunisia $10k)