Maria Budin secured the best junior result in a quiet week for our British juniors ahead of two large grass court events just around the corner: the Brit made the semi-finals of a very strong ITF Juniors Grade 5 event in Aarhus before losing out to Lilly Elida Haseth, the 12th seed and eventual finalist, 0-6 6-4 7-6(3).
Budin, seeded 6th at the event, was joined by direct acceptance Victoria Allen and qualifier Veronika Hughes, and all three Brits won their opening matches to proceed to the second round. However, Hughes fell 6-1 6-0 to Sydney Berlin of Sweden while Allen battled hard against 10th seed Vlada Medvedcova of Moldova before a 7-6(3) 6-3 defeat, leaving just Budin, who scraped past Ella Haavisto of Finland 6-1 3-6 6-3, in the last-16. Budin was again taken all the way against 11th seed Anna Siskova of the Czech Republic, getting through 4-6 6-3 6-2, before a hugely easy 6-1 6-0 win against another seed, Emilie Elde of Norway, took her through to the semi-finals. It was there where her run ended against a second consecutive Norwegian, but Budin, 15, is showing some signs that she might be a decent player in years to come.
In the Boys’ event, Ewen Lumsden was seeded third but wasn’t the only Brit in the main draw after Samuel Pointon had made it through qualifying, with Oliver Mayo and Ronan Sahni both failing to do so. But Pointon was handed an unfortunate draw against 14th seed Erik Grevelius of Sweden and fell 6-4 6-3 in the opening round. Lumsden, however, eased past a Danish wildcard and a Belorussian lucky loser before a 6-2 6-2 last-16 victory over 16th seed Thomas Guy of New Zealand preceded his quarter-final exit to Norwegian Peter August Anker 3-6 6-3 6-3.
At the Grade 4 event in Thailand, neither Liu Hui Retallick nor Sofia Antipatis were able to secure even one victory in qualifying, while Kate Cunningham fell in the opening round of the Grade 5 event in Bermuda.