There’s been a decent amount of point collecting for our lower-ranked Brits this week at varying ITF events across the globe, with perhaps most interestingly Jamie Praditngam being on the verge of being ATP ranked for the first time in his career after successfully qualifying for the ITF Futures $10k event in Belgium alongside Mason Recci this week.
Praditngam qualified for an ITF main draw for the first time this year following three excellent victories, two against higher-ranked and seeded players. Third seed Andrew Ruppli of Switzerland was dispatched 6-1 6-4 in the second round of qualifying before Michael Feucht of Germany, the 15th seed, was similarly thrashed 6-2 6-1 to put the British 21-year-old on the verge of being ranked on the tour for the very first time in his career. Alongside Praditngam, Mason Recci also made the main draw after defeating fellow Brit Pierre Luiggi in the final round of qualifying. To become ranked, Jamie requires a first round victory against Pascal Meis of Germany, who is ranked #629 in the world at present. Recci has a somewhat easier task against unranked Luxembourger Alex Knaff, 18.
Elsewhere, Beth Grey, Eden Silva and Samuel Ferguson have all picked up solitary points (so far) thanks to first round victories that will go a long way to boosting their individual rankings. Grey and Silva are competing at the $10k on carpet in Portugal, and unseeded Grey pulled off a pretty impressive 3-6 6-4 6-3 win over 5th seed Laetitia Sarrazin of France, and now faces Finn Mia Eklund, whom Grey defeated at Eastbourne just a couple of weeks ago. Silva claimed a 6-3 6-3 win over Maria Palhoto of Portugal, and now faces 8th seed Maria Martinez Martinez for a place in the quarter-finals. In qualifying, though, it wasn’t to be for Dominique Covington, who lost her only match 6-0 6-0.
In Zimbabwe, Samuel Ferguson’s ITF slog continues, and he finally gets his reward for hard work this week after clinching qualification and then his first main draw win of the year after beating fellow qualifier Hao Yuan Ng of Singapore 6-0 6-1. Fellow Brit Joe Cooper fell in the first qualifying round. Ferguson now faces a much tougher opponent in third seed Hugo Nys of France, and is very much the underdog.
Perhaps the most likely Brit of succeeding this week is Cameron Norrie, who, fresh from his sophomore year at Texas Christian University, has won his first ITF match in three months after a 6-2 6-4 win against American Reilly Opelka in the first round of the $25k in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Norrie is not seeded but has a UTR of 14.99, higher than that of several Brits ranked above him in the ATP Rankings, and is clearly a talented individual. How much further he can progress this week depends predominantly on the draw he is handed: top seed Mitchell Krueger of the States may lie in wait in the quarter-finals.
Several Brits are yet to kick off their main draws this week, with Farris Gosea, Mirabelle Njoze and Francesca Stephenson playing their first round matches today in Canada, Egypt and Slovenia respectively. Sabrina Bamburac has already exited in the first round in Egypt. Meanwhile, in Turkey, Suzy Larkin failed to qualify but Natasha Hillyer, Soumeya Anane and Chelsea May Samways all did. Anane and Samways have since lost their opening round matches, but Hillyer is yet to play.
R2: Cameron Norrie (USA $25k); Sarah Beth Grey, [Q] Eden Silva (Portugal $10k); [Q] Samuel Ferguson (Zimbabwe $10k)
R1: [LL] Joshua Paris (Spain $25k + H); Farris Gosea (Canada $25k); [Q] Mason Recci, [Q] Jamie Praditngam (Belgium $10k);  Mirabelle Njoze, Sabrina Bamburac (Egypt $10k); [Q] Emily Dowdeswell Koti (Mauritius $10k);  Francesca Stephenson (Slovenia $10k); [Q] Natasha Hillyer, [Q] Soumeya Anane, [Q] Chelsea May Samways (Turkey $10k)
FQR: Tiffany William (France $25k); Pierre Luiggi (Belgium $10k); Jonathan Gray (Hong Kong $10k); Suzy Larkin (Turkey $10k); [q9] Andrew Watson (USA $10k)
QR2: Daniel Manlow (Canada $25k); Dominique Covington (Portugal $10k); Max Andrews (Romania $10k)
QR1: Robyn Beddow, Samuel Beddow (Korea $10k); Chloe Compson (Netherlands $10k); Josh Wilson (USA $10k); Joe Cooper (Zimbabwe $10k)