12th November, 2021

Day 5 Recap: Semi-Finals decided on thrilling 5th day at Finals Week

On a pulsating day at The Shrewsbury Club, the final semi-final places were up for grabs. Sonay Kartal, Beth Grey, Henry Patten and Dan Cox were the four victorious players.

Kartal and Grey join Christie and Silva in women’s Semis

The winner of weeks 5, 6 and 7, Sonay Kartal overcame the odds to dump top-ranked Lily Miyazaki out of the quarter-finals 6-1, 7-6(9), 10-4. In a high-quality match Kartal survived a missed set-point in the second set to hold her nerve and win the match in a tense 10-point tiebreak. Kartal flew out the gates early on and raced to the first set in rapid time. Miyazaki’s backhand was red-hot all game and earned her points all match but Kartal survived the onslaught and with strong forehands she wrapped the game up to earn her spot in the semi-finals.

After the match Sonay said:

“I think Lily is one of those players that you can’t get in a rhythm against. She’s very calm down the other end of the net. I had my chances (in the second set), you don’t have time to reflect on what happened. I haven’t come across Beth in my career yet, I’m hoping to play a good match.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by UK Pro League (@ukproleague)

Earlier Beth Grey had secured her own spot in the semi-finals with a straight set win over Lauryn John-Baptiste 6-0, 6-3. Beth Grey had the upper-hand throughout the first set and almost won double the points of her opponent. This trend stopped in the second set as Grey’s persistent hitting was met by John-Baptiste. Grey defended 9 break-points in all in the match as countless chances slipped away for Baptiste. It was a brilliant all-round performance from Grey, who finished the match with a dismissive drive volley

“It was a really close match, a lot of the games were to and fro with advantages and deuces. There were some great rallies and I had to fight really hard to get through this one. This weeks been great, a lot of great momentum coming into this tournament, I have played a lot of events on tour this summer and I’ve got a lot of matches under my belt and it’s starting to show in my results.”

Patten and Cox survive epics to reach the last 4

Henry Patten had to survive an epic match against the powerful Sean Hodkin. In a riveting final set tie-break, Patten managed to pull away from Hodkin to finish the match 7-5, 5-7, 10-6. Throughout Patten’s whippy ground strokes put Hodkin under huge pressure and even with a strong serving performance it was Hodkin on the back foot.

After he had booked his semi-final place Patten said:

“We weren’t really getting a look at each other’s serves, Sean (Hodkin) played a great match. I managed to squeeze the first set and he squeezed the second and the tiebreaks always tight. We were both nervous because we clearly invested so much. I’m knackered, I’m pretty relaxed on court at the best of times, obviously the tiredness doesn’t help but it gets better each day.” 

In the final quarter-final match, 31-year-old Dan Cox played a brilliant match as he defeated British No.5 Jay Clarke 7-6, 6- . Clarke was favourite going into it but after coming back from an early break, Cox dominated the end of the first set before wrapping up the victory. The pair’s last match came in the Wimbledon wildcard qualifiers over 7 years ago and Cox was able to repeat the result to secure his place in the semi-final. It was an utterly outstanding display from Cox who turned up the level considerably in the second set to come home with a resounding victory.

Dan Cox after his win:

“First match this week I thought I played pretty well, I needed to step up playing Jay (Clarke) today. I needed to be at my best, he’s probably the best player here.”

“It was completely different because there was a lot of pressure on me in the group stage to win in straight sets so I had to start really well. Here I was a little bit of the underdog. I had to keep my cool, I went down 5-2 and I thought I just have to keep going and keep being positive. I was a bit lucky today and it came off.”

“I have put a lot of work in on the court, when I was playing full-time 3 or 4 years ago, the game has changed now, you have to be more aggressive and that’s what I am trying to do. Especially being indoors, the points are much quicker.”

“I played Henry in the final in Loughborough and I beat him in that week but he won the final. I want to get some revenge but he’s in incredible form and he won a tournament last week in the States so it should be a good match.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by UK Pro League (@ukproleague)

Elsewhere there were wins for Billy Harris and Ewan Moore in straight sets as they won 6-4, 6-4 and 6-3, 6-1 respectively. Charlie Broom also secured a win in the 9th-12th playoff round as came back from a set down to win against Josh Paris 4-6, 6-3, 10-3. In the women’s draw Eliz Maloney crushed Emma Wilson 6-3, 6-4 in her best performance of the week before Emily Appleton and Alice Gillan won their matches in three sets.