Red-hot Billy Harris will meet Giles Hussey in the UK Pro League Week 7 final as he looks to rack up consecutive tournament victories in the prestigious domestic showpiece.
Having finished runner-up in Week 1, Harris defeated Week 5 winner Charles Broom to secure victory at the Harbour Club in Chelsea two weeks ago. And the Isle of Man ace now has a golden chance to clinch back-to-back crowns after reaching a second straight final at the University of Bath. Harris, 26, beat the experienced Dan Cox in a convincing 6-4, 6-4 victory to set up a Saturday showdown against Hussey.
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And the in-form star, who went down against Ben Jones in his first pool match of the week in the West Country, said: “You have to stay on top of Dan, otherwise he can run away with it pretty easily, but I thought I started well and I came out serving well.
“After the first match this week where I lost, I’ve come back well and I’m playing slightly better in each match.
“The first serve percentage could have been a bit better. Giles likes long rallies so I’ll look to get forward a bit more and finish points off at the net.”
The first semi-final of the day saw Hussey, 24, edge past Sean Hodkin in a thrilling clash to reach the Week 7 final on his 2021 debut. After winning the opening set he was dragged into a deciding set tiebreak – but ultimately prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 11-9.
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And the Swindon ace, who previously played college tennis in Tennessee, insists he’s buzzing with how he’s hitting the ball ahead of his meeting with Harris this weekend.
He said: “I’m happy about the way I’ve served and my mentality. I think I’ve only been broken twice all week so far and have really been disciplined, hitting my spots well on my serve and being quite focused.
“The match went well. I started very well and got out to a quick 4-0 lead. Then I think I got a little bit passive and got broken at the start of the second set. I just got a little bit defensive, but ended up bringing it home in a close tiebreaker.
“I’m looking forward to the final. I think I’m just going to have to be brave, go for my shots and see how it goes.”
The women’s semi-finals take place tomorrow, with Sonay Kartal doing battle with Emily Appleton and Alice Gillan facing Emma Wilson.
Kartal and Appleton are two of the form players of 2021. Appleton was Week 1, 3 and 4 winner, whilst Kartal triumphed in both Week 5 and Week 6.
And having lost to Kartal in the Week 5 final, Surrey star Appleton will be gunning for revenge this time. The 22-year-old league leader beat Jizel Fernandes and Danielle Daley in her group, before not dropping a single game in a dominant 6-0, 6-0 quarter-final victory over Nadia Rawson.
Kartal is also unbeaten, with the south coast player comfortably beating Maddie Brooks and Gillan in her pool before a nail-biting 6-4, 2-6, 11-9 win over Freya Christie in her last eight encounter.
Despite her group stage defeat to Kartal, a victory over Brooks was enough to see Gillan reach the last eight. And there she impressively toppled Week 6 runner-up Katarina Stresnakova 7-5, 6-2 to set up tomorrow’s last four clash against Wilson.
Wilson started her week with group stage victories over Tiffany William and Rawson, before edging past Daley 6-4, 5-7, 10-5 to reach the semi-final stage.