On the super Saturday of Finals Week, the crowds at the Shrewsbury club were treated to some incredible tennis. The semi-finals produced thrills all day long on court 1 as Kartal, Patten, Matusevich and Christie progressed to the final stage.
First up on Court 1 was the clash between Anton Matusevich and Giles Hussey, where Matusevich, the British No.11, triumphed 6-2, 7-5. His serving and some ridiculous winners suffocated Hussey’s attempts to get into the game.
After the match Matusevich was in a confident mood:
“It was a pretty good match overall, players always start to play better in the second set. They know what they did wrong and they correct it pretty well. Giles is a tricky player, he has good hands. Lefties are never easy but overall it was alright.”
“The goal was to get to the final and take it from there. Jay (Clarke) is 200 ATP so that’s pretty tough and Henry and Dan can play. The goal was to get to the final so I’m pretty happy with myself. Tomorrow I think I will be a bit looser so I am looking forward to it. Bring anyone on, I’ll take them down. Lets do it”
Anton Matusevich has not dropped a set on his way to the final. He dispatched Sean Hodkin in straight sets in the group stage and alongside his victory when James Ward retired it was plenty to finish top of Pool B. He was drawn up against Julian Cash in the quarter-finals but won 6-4, 6-2 to advance comfortably. He overcame the stubborn Giles Hussey in the semis winning 6-2, 7-5 to grab his place in the final.
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Henry Patten managed to overcome the stern test of Dan Cox as he continued his brilliant 2 week run. After his first ITF title in the US Patten has come to Finals Week in great form but there were tough moments in the 6-3, 6-3 win. Setting up the final with Matusevich.
After the match Patten said:
“I don’t feel like there was necessarily a turning point because I thought it was going to happen again and again. Dan returns so well and usually he is pretty clinical in those moments. I felt pretty luck to come out of it alive and I managed to grab the first set which was massive.”
“I flew back from the States Sunday evening and landed Monday morning. I had the day off on Monday but had to play Tuesday so it worked out fine. I feel great now, maybe it’s a recipe for success.”
“Anton (Matusevich) has been the favourite all week and before the week. He’s the guy with the target on his back and he is proving why. I have played him a couple of times before and they have been close but he has got the better of me so I will be looking forward to it.”
Freya Christie survived being 4-1 down in the first set to romp home impressively against the favoured wildcard Eden Silva. It continued her brilliant form in finals week as the 5th place qualifier stormed into the final.
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“Eden (Silva) got a good start to the match and she was 4-1 up. I really had to reset in that moment and think that it was only one break of serve and then I could regroup and I did well to get so many games on a trot and serve out the set.”
“It must be my lucky charm! I always seem to win here and everybody at the club really makes me feel at home, it’s like a second home!”
“I’ll recover now, see the physio and cool down. I will watch a bit of the other semi-final to get some tactics but just relax and look forward to tomorrow.”
Sonay Kartal, winner of three weeks this year, survived a breathless semi-final against Beth Grey. The match went all the way down to the wire in what will surely go down as one of the greatest of the UK Pro League. Kartal timed her break to perfection in the first set as she went one up but Beth Grey fought back to take the tiebreak in the second set. What followed was some of the best tennis that we have seen this week. The 10-point tiebreak swung multiple times before Kartal was able to come home 7-5, 6-7, 10-8. She sets up a mouth-watering clash with Freya Christie in the final.
After the breathtaking performance Kartal said:
“I don’t even know what happened there, to be honest. Beth is very tough to play against – it’s always hard against left-handers and you really have to adapt your game plan.”
“Me and Freya have met each other a few times in the UK Pro League this season – it’s going to come down to fine margins and who executes their skills better on the day.”
Outside of the semi-finals there were straight set wins for British No.6 Jay Clarke as he ran out winner against Sean Hodkin 6-3, 6-2. Eliz Maloney wrapped up her finals week with a hard-fought win over Alice Gillan that included a intense second set tiebreak. Josh Paris finished off his UK Pro League season with a three set win where he edged out George Houghton to finish in 10th place. Charlie Broom beat Ewan Moore to get 9th spot this week and the extra prize money that comes with it.
The finals tomorrow are sure to make for sensational viewing as the best of British Tennis and we kick off the action at 11:00 AM:
You can watch the finals and all other matches tomorrow on the Tennis Channel, BT Sport Extra, UK Pro League TV and FreeSports.
FreeSports content is only available to view in the UK. The channel can be viewed on many different TV platforms including Sky TV (channel 422), Freeview (channel 64), Virgin (channel 553), Freesat (channel 252), TalkTalk TV (channel 64) and BT TV (channel 64).