19th April, 2023

Giles Hussey and Katy Dunne win Week 5

What a week of tennis we were just treated to! With so many of the UK Pro League’s top players competing, it was always going to be a tough fight to claim the trophy. Congratulations to Katy Dunne, who achieved her first ever UKPL Week Win, and Giles Hussey, who won his second.

By the time we reached the semi finals, 6 of the 8 players still in the running were previous Week Winners of the UK Pro League. In the men’s semi finals, Josh Goodger’s bid for a maiden Week Win was cut short by top seed Giles Hussey. In the other, Week 2 Winner Hamish Stewart triumphed over Week 4 winner Louis Bowden. (Both matches are worth a rewatch on UKPL.TV )

It was time for the Final: Stewart, a relative newcomer to the UKPL who had won week 2 on his debut in February, vs Hussey, top seed (some 600 places above Stewart in ATP rankings) and who last won a week back in 2021. The match commenced with some close opening games, the score returning to deuce numerous times. Stewart broke Hussey’s serve in the opening game and then held serve to secure the early lead. Hussey managed to break back to level the set at 2-2. The match was emerging into one characterised by long, difficult rallies, the 6’3 Stewart and 6’1 Hussey managing to reach ever further to keep the ball in play.

Giles Hussey

By 6-5 (Hussey leading), both players had broken each other once more again. Hussey secured a break point, with the first set at his fingertips, but it was saved by Stewart, who went on to take the game evening to score to 6-6. This triggered a set tiebreak which was won by Hussey 7-3.

By the second set Stewart was hampered by a foot injury and seemed to have lost some steam. Hussey won the first 4 games and Stewart never managed to break back. Hussey served out the match to win 7-6(3), 6-2 securing his second UKPL title.

Hussey said after the match:

“i thought it was a good battle

I’m very happy (to have won a second UKPL title), and when I was on court I was thinking to myself that I’ve got exactly what I wanted to get out of this week, which is playing the right way and getting a lot of matches under my belt”

Runner-up Hamish Stewart (left)  with Winner Giles Hussey (right)

Katarina (Katie) Stresnakova, winner of Week 1 beat Alice Gillan in straight sets in the Women’s semi finals. Meanwhile Katy Dunne beat top seed Eliz Maloney in a match that went to tiebreak 6-2, 1-6, 10-5. And so the final: Katy vs Katie, we expected some great tennis and the match more than delivered.

Stresnakova started out well; she had a break point in the very first game, but failed to convert it, and her first service game contained multiple perfectly placed shots down the line both forehand and backhand, showcasing what she was capable of. However, Dunne could match her, pulling off similar shots, and both women held serve for the first 4 games. Stresnakova got the first break of serve for 3-2, but Dunne immediately broke back. Dunne then held her next service game before breaking Stresnakova’s serve again for 5-3. However, Stresnakova immediately broke back. One final break of serve handed Katy Dunne the first set 6-4.

Katy Dunne 

The breaks continued into the second set; Stresnakova broke Dunne’s serve in the opening game and Dunne’s break back at 2-2 was cancelled out by another immediate break from Stresnakova. Stresnakova saved 4 break points to win her next service game and retain the lead. However this was the final time Stresnakova would be able to hold the Brit back. Dunne got the next break of serve for 4-4, served out the next game to love, and then broke Strenakova’s serve one final time to win 6-4, 6-4. Not a straight forward match, requiring both skill and resilience to claim the win in straight sets. What a way to win your first UKPL title; Dunne beat 3 previous week winners on the journey to the trophy. We caught up with her after the match:

“It was a very good level I think. Both me and Katie were going at each other- it was tight and I had to concentrate pretty hard because I feel like she could have turned it quite quickly ”

“I’m very pleased to have won, because I came into this week having not really played any matches for a while and I feel like I’ve got better each match I’ve played.”

Winner Katy Dunne (left) with runner-up Katie Stresnakova (right)

Both our winners will be heading up to Nottingham next to compete in the three successive 25k ITF events.

You can see all this week’s results in full here and rewatch all matches at UKPL.TV