14th June, 2022

The UK Pro League 2022 so far

The UK Pro League has returned with as much firey and passionate competition as ever. As we approach week 5, we look back on what has happened so far this year.

The third annual edition of the UK Pro league kicked off on January 16th, 2022, at the LTA National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. A host of familiar faces returned as Eliz Maloney, Josh Paris, Henry Patten, and Freya Christie all featured on week 1. Featured also were the winners of both the men’s and women’s competition last year, with Anton Matusevich and Sonay Kartal advancing to the semi-final stage.

Matusevich, who was enjoying a run of 22 consecutive wins in the competition, booked his spot in the semi-finals with an efficient 1-hour win over Luke Johnson. He set up the semi-final against Alastair Gray, making his second semi-final appearance after the one in week 2 in 2020. It was not to be for the 2021 Champion, where a mature performance from Gray denied him the final spot. Gray went on to win the week beating Ryan Peniston 6-3, 6-4.

In the women’s draw, Sonay Kartal was joined in the semi-final stage by the determined Eliz Maloney. Kartal was able to win in a third-set tiebreak to reach her fifth UK Pro League final. The 20-year-old faced debutant Arina Vasilescu in the final, who outed the resident champion in a turnaround from their group stage game where Vasilescu only won three games. The Romanian, who was the one permitted ‘guest’ player this week survived a few match points on her way to 18 ranking points and the week’s win.

Week 2 kicked off in Sheffield at the Graves Health and Sports Centre with debutants galore. In a gripping set of finals, it was two of them who clinched the win and all 18 rankings points.

in the Women’s competition, the Estonian Elena Malygina blew away all competition over the course of the week, defeating week one winner Arina Vasilescu and Anna Brogan on her way to the final. In the final she disposed of Sofia Samavati 6-1, 6-4 as the completed an almost perfect week of tennis.

Over the men’s draw, it was Brandon Murphy who grabbed a stunning week 2 win on his Pro League debut. He defeated two experienced UK Pro League campaigners in Luke Johnson and Billy Harris as he set course for 18 ranking points. Week 2 marked his return from a year away from tennis and he was grateful for the time on court.

His win meant that he went second of the league rankings, only trailing the losing finalist, Luke Johnson.

Going into week 3, Brandon Murphy was red hot, and made it back-to-back weeks with his win at the Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City. He became only the second man to win back-to-back weeks of the UK Pro League. His 6-3, 6-4 win over Dan Cox was as efficient as it was impressive and took him to a total of 36 ranking points – enough to grab the top spot.

The women’s draw was filled with talent in week 3, the winner of two weeks last year, Lauryn John-Baptiste returning for her second week of the year. Lauryn could only reach the semi-final stage amid fierce competition and increasingly high standards. Eventual winner Andre Lukosiute outed John-Baptiste in a marathon 2h25m match. It meant that Lukosiute moved into the final against Katie Stresnakova, playing her first ever UK Pro League final. In the end, it was a tightly fought match, the players only separated by a championship tiebreak that finished 13-11.

Dan Cox, who took home third place in lasts years finals, won his first week of this year’s competition. Added to his second-place finish in the week prior, Cox finds himself in second spot in the rankings. He was able to fend off a comeback from Billy Harris to secure a straight sets victory.

On the women’s side, Scots Maia Lumsden completed her dream comeback, by winning week 4 after being on the side-lines for more than 18th months due to suffering of long Covid. She managed to beat youngster Marni Banks in an exciting final, that was decided only at the tiebreak.

After a tantalising first four weeks of the year’s competition, we have reached the mid-season break. The UK Pro League returns in August and with it comes more elite British tennis competition.