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 24 – 13th – 20th June 2016
The grass court season is rolling on apace, and with Wimbledon just around the corner, Brits are scrambling for UK grass court victories which might give them a shot of being favoured for Wimbledon wildcards. With the US College season also over, several familiar faces from across the pond are starting to get involved on the ITF tour too.
ATP World Tour
The main event, and the only one attracting British interest this week, is the ATP 500 event at Queen’s, one of the most popular non-Slam events for UK tennis fans throughout the year. Andy Murray is the top seed and Aljaz Bedene has snuck into the main draw courtesy of a couple of withdrawls. There are also main draw wildcards for Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans and James Ward, while Ed Corrie and Alex Wardsecure qualifying wildcards.
ATP Challenger Tour
There are no direct entries into the €42.5k event in Ilkley this week thanks to a strong draw and the loftiest Brits heading to Queen’s, but four Brits have secured main draw wildcards – two, presumably thanks to recent form, go to Lloyd Glasspool and Jonny O’Mara, while the other two go to the highest-ranked British entrants Liam Broady and Brydan Klein. There’s plenty of interest in qualifying, however, with Neil Pauffley, Keelan Oakley, Joe Salisbury and Dan Cox all gaining direct entry into the qualifying draw, while youngsters Marcus Walters, Ryan Storrie, Daniel Bennett, Jack Molloy, Max Benaim and Jay Clarke are all handed qualifying wildcards.
The only Brit in action at $25k level is Daniel Manlow, who has entered qualifying for the $25k in Winston-Salem, USA. The rest take on $10ks across the globe: it’s great to see Mason Recci back in action in qualifying for the Belgium $10k, while Julian Cash comes home from college to join Recci in Belgium qualies. Robbie Ridout and Jonathan Gray are once again in qualifying in Hong Kong, while Toby Martin‘s plummeting ranking means he’s required to qualify more and more often: this week he’s in Italy. In Mozambique, four Brits are in qualifying: Samuel Ferguson, Joe Cooper, Patrick Foley and Filipe Sharratt, the latter of which is enduring a 15-match losing streak stretching back to 2011. In the Netherlands, Joe Woolley is returning from his Freshman year and enters qualifying in Alkmaar, while in Poland, Luke Oakley is also in qualifying. Max Andrews is in his second week of action post-college in Romania and once again must navigate qualifying, while Sizya Kivanda is seeded in qualifying for the $10k in Spain. Again, Antalya in Turkey attracts a lot of attention, with Scott Clayton in the main draw and Scott Duncan, Nicholas Nugent, Daniel Gunn, Michael Morphy and Luke Simkiss all in qualifying. Finally, at the $10k in the States, Farris Gosea looks to have snuck into the main draw in Buffalo, while Andrew Watson is another college student to pop up in competitive international competition – he’s seeded eighth in qualifying.
Young Aidan McHugh is in Grade 1 action this week, having made the main draw of the event in Germany. He’s the only Boy involved in the competition. There’s a plethora of Grade 4 events to choose from, with several Brits heading to Scandinavia and Denmark – Ewen Lumsden should be seeded, while Emile Hudd, Julian Robinson and George Loffhagen are also in the main draw. Coming through qualifying are Harry Wendelken and Jonas Salem. In Guatemala, George Davis will make the main draw, while Harry Butler is in Tunisia and also in the main draw.
It’s a WTA Premier rolling onto the grass of Birmingham this week, and there are just the two DAs this week: Johanna Konta is seeded ninth while Heather Watson is unseeded. Brits claim two wildcards: Naomi Broady gets one and in-form Tara Moore secures the other. In qualifying, Laura Robson enters on a protected ranking, while Harriet Dart, Gabi Taylor, Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage all claim wildcards.
The main event here is the $50k taking place alongside the men in Ilkley. It seems Freya Christie has a main draw wildcard with others potentially to follow, while Lisa Whybourn, Jazzamay Drew, Katy Dunne, Megan Davies and Maia Lumsden all enter qualifying directly. Qualifying wildcards are handed to Eden Silva, Eden Richardson, Serena Nash, Emma Hurst, Lucy Brown and Beth Grey. At the $25k + H in Montpellier, France, Mirabelle Njoze sneaks into the main draw while Tiffany William is in qualifying. At the $25k in the States, Lauren Hewett and Amelia Stuart are in qualifying, while at $10k level, Mauritius sees former Zimbabwe 34-year-old, Emily Dowdeswell Koti take part in qualifying. Laura Sainsbury has crossed the border into Portugal this week and is in qualifying for that elusive third counter, while Francesca Stephenson is in the main draw in Slovenia, while finally, in Turkey, Suzy Larkin, Francesca Wilkes and Chelsea May Samways are in qualifying, with Larkin one main draw win away from being WTA ranked.
Very little action on the Girls’ side of things, with no-one joining McHugh in Germany. Maria Budin is at the Grade 4 in Denmark, while Katie Cunningham is seeded 6th in qualifying at the US Grade 4.