Tuesday, 23/1/2018 | 1:41 UTC+0

Week 23 ITFs: Several Brits Still Alive in Antalya, Turkey

Several Brits have tumbled and fallen in the qualifying and first rounds of the various ITF Futures $10k events happening this week, with only two of an initial eleven events still maintaining British interest. The major action is taking place in Antalya, Turkey, where six Brits are still alive in the first and second rounds.

With seven Men and five Women in total entered into the qualifying and main draws in Turkey, with only two direct entrants, seven Brits made the first round proper in a rather good turnout from qualifying in comparison to recent weeks. In the Men’s draw, Joshua Paris, who was seeded fifth in qualifying, enjoyed a bye and two straight sets wins to secure his place, while unranked Brits Nicholas Nugent and Scott Duncan met in the final qualifying round, with Duncan emerging triumphant and putting himself a game away from an ATP ranking. Luke Simkiss, Sizya Kivanda and Daniel Gunn all fell in the earlier qualifying rounds. In the Women’s draw, only two Brits made qualifying, with Suzy Larkin qualifying past Belorussian Darya Shulzhanok in the final qualifying round while wildcard Francesca Wilkes fell to the top seed.

With the first round of the main draw still underway, three Brits are already through, with one out and three still to play. Qualifier Suzy Larkin picked up her second counter and needs just one more main draw victory (at an event apart from this week) to pick up a WTA ranking. Furthermore, she’ll face lucky loser Darya Shulzhanok – yes, the same one she came past 6-2 6-0 in the final qualifying round this very week – for a place in the quarter-finals for the second time in three weeks. Jazzamay Drew is also through after a 6-2 7-6(3) win over a Venezuela qualifier, while Francesca Stephenson was beaten by the fifth seed 6-1 6-2 and sixth seed Mirabelle Njoze is still to play. In the Men’s draw, Joshua Paris picked up his best win of the year with a 7-6(6) 2-6 6-4 win over Italian 27-year-old Lorenzo Frigerio, while Scott Clayton and qualifier Scott Duncan are both yet to play their opening round matches.

The only other Brit still in play across the rest of the ITF events is Sabrina Bamburac, who is entered as a wildcard into the main draw in Egypt. The Brit is playing her first hard court match in over 100 days against Italian Claudia Firenze, and is 2-8 win-loss in her last 10 matches on hard courts – just like her opponent. The Italian is unranked; Bamburac could use the solitary point that she would receive from a victory later tonight.

There were two other Brits that made the second round before being eliminated yesterday: young Jonathan Gray will be adding to his rankings tally and hitting a new career high in two weeks thanks to a first round victory in Hong Kong. The Brit came through two tough qualifying matches with a tiebreak in each before securing a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over world #958 Fajing Sun of China. The British world #1395 trailed 4-6 1-5 and by a break 0-2 in the third set before wrapping up a quite remarkable comeback victory. In his second round match against 7th seed Chistopher Rungkat of Indonesia, the Brit retired, trailing 5-7 1-3. Robbie Ridout, who had also qualified for the main draw, lost 6-1 7-5 in the first round to Cheng-Yu Yu of Taiwan.

The other Brit to pick up points this week was Laura Deigman at the ITF $10k in Israel. The Brit, who was seeded eighth at the event, came through her first round match 4-6 6-2 6-3 against Israeli Tamara Barad Itzhaki, snapping a 6-match losing streak, but was beaten in round two by another Israeli, Valeria Nikolaev, 6-3 6-3. Deigman’s win-loss record in her last twelve is now 2-10.

A brief summary of the rest of the action: Keelan Oakley and Luke Oakley both lost in respective first round matches in Bulgaria and Poland, while Toby Martin, having qualified in Italy, took on the top seed in the first round and lost handsomely. In qualifying, Aswin Lizen, seeded sixth, fell in the final round of the US $25k, while Laura Sainsbury was unable to back up last week’s point-winning performance with a qualification this week in Spain, also falling in the final round of qualifying. Finally, five Brits fell in the first qualifying round of events in Mozambique and Romania: Max Andrews, Mehdi Naqvi, Samuel Ferguson, Patrick Foley and Daniel Gunn.

R2: [Q] Joshua Paris, Jazzamay Drew, [Q] Suzy Larkin (Turkey $10k); [Q] Jonathan Gray (Hong Kong $10k); [8] Laura Deigman (Israel $10k)
R1: [Q] Scott Duncan, Scott Clayton, [6] Mirabelle Njoze 
(Turkey $10k); Sabrina Bamburac (Egypt $10k); Keelan Oakley (Bulgaria $10k); [Q] Robbie Ridout (Hong Kong $10k) [Q] Toby Martin (Italy $10k); [Q] Luke Oakley (Poland $10k); Francesca Stephenson (Turkey $10k)

FQR: [q6] Aswin Lizen (USA $25k); Laura Sainsbury (Spain $10k); Nicholas Nugent, [qWC] Francesca Wilkes (Turkey $10k) 
QR2: [q13] Sizya Kivanda
(Turkey $10k)
QR1: Daniel Manlow
(USA $25k); Joe Cooper, Patrick Foley, [q3] Samuel Ferguson (Mozambique $10k); [q14] Max Andrews, [qWC] Mehdi Naqvi (Romania $10k); Luke Simkiss, Daniel Gunn (Turkey $10k)


25-year-old University of St Andrews graduate with a rather insane passion for British Tennis. Boston United fan (don't ask). Favourite tennis player: the Brummie bunch - Dan Evans and Lloyd Glasspool.


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