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 26 – 27th June – 4th July 2016
Here we go then. 15 Men and Women are entered into the main draw of the grass court Grand Slam in our very own backyards, and for once, a decent amount of them might make it past the first round. Will we see anyone join Andy Murray in the second week of Wimbledon? Konta, Edmund and Watson are the prime candidates, but the draws have thrown up some interesting match-ups, and we might see a less familiar name in amongst it as the event travels further down the line.
There are a grand total of NINE men in the main draw this year, with three looking at least relatively hopeful of progressing past the first round. Andy Murray is seeded second and has been handed a very kind draw, in the opposite half to Djokovic and Federer, and shouldn’t be hugely challenged until the quarters (Gasquet) and the semis (Wawrinka). Kyle Edmund, Aljaz Bedene and Dan Evans also secure direct entry, with Edmund facing Adrian Mannarino in the first round before either wildcard James Ward or Djokovic in the second. Wildcards were also handed to Brydan Klein, Alexander Ward and Liam Broady, who faces Murray in round one, while Marcus Willis enters after an astonishing qualifying campaign.
There’s no Brits in the sole Challenger event on offer, so the next best thing is ITF $25ks: Farris Gosea is once again involved in Canada, while Cameron Norrie will be looking to back up last week’s $25k title in Tulsa with another, this time in Wichita, Kansas. Again, he’ll be unseeded, and a similar selection of Americans lies in wait. At $10k level, in Egypt, Keelan Oakley makes the main draw while Mehdi Naqvi will be hoping to join him through qualifying, while in Macedonia, Richard Gabb and Neil Pauffley are both in the main draw, with Gabb likely to be seeded fourth. In the Netherlands, Jamie Praditngam will once again be aiming to come through qualifying to give himself a stab at a world ranking, while Pierre Luiggi and Gregory Caterer, a wildcard, are also involved. In Spain, Dan Dowson, Joshua Paris and George Davies are in qualifying, while finally, Samuel Ferguson remains in Zimbabwe, and will require qualification once again.
AEGON British Tour
There’s another Tier 2 event this week, in West Worthing, and the men’s draw is rather interesting, with a plethora of players involved: several collegiate players are involved, including Jamie Malik and Jathan Malik, as well as Vincent Gillespie and Calum MacGeoch, while ATP-ranked players are also around, including Joel Cannell and Marcus Walters. Youngsters such as Anton Matusevich will also be looking to make an impression.
The big event this week is the Grade 1 event in Roehampton, the traditional pre-Wimbledon event for our juniors. Direct main draw entrants include Jay Clarke, Ryan Storrie, Alastair Gray and Alexis Canter, while wildcards have been handed to Ewan Moore, Luke Hammond, Aidan McHugh, Jack Molloy, Max Stewart, Ben Draper, Finn Bass and Jake Hersey. There’s a plethora of Brits in qualifying, including the likes of Joe Tyler, Jack Draper, Anton Matusevich and James Davis.
Elsewhere, in Holland at the Grade 2, Ewen Lumsden, Jeremy Gschwendtner, Louis Newman, Maxime Trenikhin and Alexander Carlos Parker are all in qualifying, while at the Grade 5 in Cuba, George Davis is in the main draw. In Georgia, George Barfoot is in qualifying, while Ryan Gaskin will be seeded in Greece. Finally, Freddie Grant will be in the main draw of the Grade 5 in Ukraine.
Six ladies make the main draw, with the first seeded female Brit since 1984 in Johanna Konta, who is 16th seed. A tough match against Monica Puig is ahead, while she is joined in the main draw by DAs Naomi Broady and Heather Watson, wildcards Tara Moore and Laura Robson, and youngster Katie Swan.
Amanda Carreras is the highest profile name outside of Wimbledon this week, and she takes part in the $25k in France, and will be seeded 5th. Mirabelle Njoze will be seeded at the $10k in Egypt, while Sabrina Bamburac will sneak into the main draw, while in Portugal, Sam Murray, Laura Deigman and Beth Grey are all in the main draw. Emma Hurst, Eden Silva and Katerina Weymouth will be attempting qualifying. The usual suspects are over in Antalya, Turkey, with Suzy Larkin, Chelsea May Samways and Soumeya Anane are in qualifying.
AEGON British Tour
The Women’s Singles in West Worthing is bereft of any real talent: Holly Hutchinson will be top seed and favourite to win, while the likes of Lisa Phillips, Mollie Crouch and Elise van Heuvelen are the only real challengers to what looks like a very weak draw.
In Roehampton, Jodie Anna Burrage and Emily Appleton are in the main draw directly, with wildcards having been granted to Maia Lumsden, Ali Collins, Eden Richardson, Francesca Jones, Georgina Axon, Nell Miller, Megan Davies and Ema Lazic. In qualifying, we’ve got Lauryn John-Baptiste and Esther Adeshina leading the charge, with Olivia Elliott, Georgie Walker and Alice Gillan also involved.
Elsewhere, Alexandra Yeardley and Holly Fischer are in Grade 4 qualifying in Aruba, while Camille Verden Anderson is in main draw action at the G4 in Germany. In Grade 5 action in Cuba, Kate Cunningham is in qualifying, while Sofia Antipatis is in qualifying in Fiji. Finally, Millie Devey-Smith takes on qualifying in Greece.