28th February, 2022

Murphy and Lukosiute win week 3 of the UK Pro League

Brandon Murphy admits he surprised even himself after becoming just the second man ever to claim back-to-back UK Pro League titles.

The 21-year-old ace beat the experienced Dan Cox in straight sets on Saturday to follow up his Week 2 triumph in style at Welwyn Garden City’s Gosling Tennis Centre.
Last season’s UK Pro League champion Anton Matusevich, the world No.174, racked up two week wins on the spin last year to help navigate his way to Finals Week and Murphy was able to emulate his achievement with an efficient 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Murphy is a relative newcomer to the competitive UK Pro League circuit and after toppling Cox, who reached the first round of Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, says his consecutive 18-point haul is a shock to the system.

He said: “Back-to-back wins is very surprising for me – I won the first one and couldn’t believe it, and I feel exactly the same.
“I don’t understand how I keep winning these matches against these top players. I just feel great – my confidence is really high, I’m very relaxed and because I haven’t played that much recently, I just go out there and play.
“If I lose, I lose and if I win. I win. I thought I played very well today – Dan’s a very good player and I knew that I needed to bring my A-game, keep a clear head and take my chances when needed.
“I’ve never played this many matches in such a short space of time, so to get these matches is exactly what I need right now.”

The premier league of British tennis, the innovative UK Pro League is the only season-long domestic competition for the UK’s top professionals and brings them together for seven weeks of action to qualify for the UK Pro League Finals Week in November.
And in winning two weeks in a row, Murphy not only followed in the footsteps of Matusevich, 20, but also women’s players Sonay Kartal, Emily Appleton and Lauryn John-Baptiste.

Kartal was crowned last season’s UK Pro League champion and with the south coast star not in action for Week 3 of the 2022 edition, it was Andre Lukosiute who reigned supreme in a thrilling women’s final.
Lukosiute, 20, battled back from match point down to win a pulsating tie-break 13-11 and claim a valuable 18 ranking points.
The Lithuanian ace took the first set 7-5 but after losing the second 6-3, held herself together to edge over the line and add to the four points she claimed in Week 2.
Lukosiute has now built major momentum heading into Week 4 at the beginning of April and hopes to carry on where she left off following a resilient display.

She said: “It was a really good, tough and long match.
“I’m happy with my fighting spirit – I was match points down but didn’t get annoyed with myself and pulled through.
“I’m happy at how many matches I got and that I played different sort of players this week.
“The format is really good for all the players – it doesn’t matter how well you do and you always get five matches, which is great for match-play.
“The prize money really helps the players, so I’m really glad I’m able to play and I really appreciate the opportunity.
“I’m hoping to travel for a bit, play in the some Futures events and then hopefully come back to the UK Pro League.”

With nearly half a million pounds of prize money up for grabs across the season, all the thrills and spills are broadcast live on BT Sport, The Tennis Channel and UKproleague.tv. News and updates across the season can be found at ukproleague.com