Wednesday, 16/8/2017 | 1:01 UTC+1
Britennis

Willis, Cox, Whybourn, Lumsden Win Wimbledon WC Playoffs

Marcus Willis, Daniel Cox, Lisa Whybourn and Maia Lumsden have all received wildcards for the upcoming Wimbledon qualifying event next week after winning the Wimbledon wildcard playoffs organised by the LTA this week ahead of several disappointed fellow Brits.

16 men and 16 women entered the playoffs, which were held at the the All England Club on Thursday and Friday, with six wildcards handed to juniors in each of the two draws. But it was some more familiar and experienced faces who secured the lucrative qualifying opportunities in next week’s draw, with Dan Cox and Marcus Willis in particular proving they are being hugely missed on the ITF circuit by defeating higher-ranked and more active fellow Brits en route to securing their places in next week’s draw.

In the Men’s draw, seedings were handed to the highest-ranked players on the ATP Tour: Joshua Milton, Richard Gabb, Luke Bambridge and Dan Smethurst respectively. However, Gabb and Bambridge fell to Cox and Willis respectively, proving the “old guard” have still “got it” despite turning their attention more to coaching over the course of the past tennis year. Cox and Willis proceeded to the final round where they played Smethurst and Joe Salisbury respectively, with both securing straight sets victories and a qualifying draw berth alongside several other British wildcards.

In the Women’s draw, Lisa Whybourn, Emily Webley-Smith, Katie Boulter and Emily Arbuthnott were handed seedings 1-4 respectively, and predictably, Boulter and Whybourn met in the final playoff round after emerging from the top half of the draw packed with young wildcard entries such as Jodie Burrage and Ema Lazic. Whybourn secured a 7-6(6) 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Boulter to book her place in next week’s qualifying draw. In the bottom half, Webley-Smith’s rotten form continued after defeat to wildcard Holly Hutchinson, who in turn was beaten by Laura Deigman, but it was Maia Lumsden who emerged unseeded to claim the second qualifying round spot, beating Beth Grey, seeded Arbuthnott and finally Deigman to ensure more all-England action for the young Scot this year.

*Dan Smethurst, Joe Salisbury, Katie Boulter and Laura Deigman have all received wildcards as ‘lucky losers’ of sorts, following the wildcard playoffs.

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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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