After a shock defeat to Jack Findel Hawkins on day one, former Junior US Open champion Anton Matusevich bounced back to win all four of his remaining group matches to top Pool A in the first week of the UK Pro League at Loughborough University.
The 19 year-old, who needed a straight sets win to top Pool A in his final group match, recovered from 4-1 down in the second set to defeat fellow 19 year-old Oscar Weightman 6-4 6-4 and book a mouth-watering Semi-Final match with Billy Harris on Saturday.
Joshua Paris won arguably the match of the day on Friday. In a showdown that determined who would join Matusevich in the Semi-Finals, Paris had to fight back from a set down against Jack Findel Hawkins. The 24 year-old Londoner eventually winning an incredibly tight match-tiebreak 6-7 (8) 6-0 10-8 in an encounter that was full of attacking intent and sensational net play.
Former world number 206 Dan Cox continued his incredible love affair with tennis as well this week. Cox returned to competitive tennis after a three year hiatus in 2020, but is arguably looking better than ever in 2021. After much success in last year’s UK Pro Series, the Lancastrian has been in inspired form all week, winning all five of his matches to top Pool B. It will be a mix of contrasting styles as ‘the Speedster’ Cox will face off against ‘the big-serving’ Paris on Saturday for a place in the final.
In the women’s event Emily Appleton has been showcasing her incredible talent all week. The 21 year-old is yet to drop a set after topping Pool B. Appleton will play Freya Christie in Saturday’s Semi-Final. Christie lost a dramatic roller-coaster ride of a match against Alicia Barnett 2-6 6-4 12-10 on Thursday, despite having a match point. But the former world number 286 bounced back to defeat Tanysha Dissanayake in straight sets on Friday to ensure a last four meeting with Appleton.
After a sensational come-back win over Christie on Thursday, the top ranked player in Pool A, Alicia Barnett, held her nerve on Friday to defeat good friend and doubles partner Olivia Nicholls. The Gloucestershire based Barnett barely put a foot wrong in a display of great attack minded tennis to ensure she topped Pool A, winning 6-4 6-1. The undefeated Barnett will face Beth Grey in the Semi-Finals on Saturday.