Three players will take impeccable records into this weekend’s UK Pro League Week 3 semi-finals after a storming week of tennis in Loughborough.
Sonay Kartal, Eliz Maloney and Anton Matusevich all rounded off the round-robin stage with five wins from five, with the trio looking in imperious form heading into finals weekend.
Kartal was the stand-out performer in Pool A of the women’s competition, winning ten successive sets to comprehensively secure her place in the last four.
Just one dropped set blotted her copybook – the very first of the tournament after trailing to Danielle Daley on Monday. But she recovered from that setback in impeccable fashion, downing Daley and then Nadia Rawson, Freya Christie, Kimberly Mpukusa and Alice Gillan to maintain perfection.
Kartal can’t rest of her laurels, however, with Saturday’s semi-final pitting her up against Emily Appleton – the winner of both Week 1 and Week 2 in this year’s UK Pro League. That mouth-watering match up, and all matches to be played on Saturday and Sunday, will be live on BT Sport Extra and UKproleague.com.
Appleton finished in second place in Pool B with a comprehensive 6-0 6-0 win over Annali Olivelle seeing her into the placement stages in style. Top spot wasn’t to be hers though, that honour instead going to Maloney – victor in all five of her round-robin matches.
Like Kartal, Maloney dropped just one set in her quintet of matches, unsurprisingly to Appleton as the two went the distance in their Tuesday match-up. But it was Maloney who prevailed, topping Pool B and earning herself a semi-final against Freya Christie, who finished third in Week 1 of the competition last month.
Valuable points are up for grabs all season and one player who looks well-placed to add to his tally is Matusevich, who enjoyed an unbeaten week in Pool B of the men’s draw.
Winner in Week 2, Matusevich maintained his stunning form with five comprehensive victories, not dropping a single set en route to finals weekend. A 6-2 6-3 win over Henry Patten got his week in Loughborough under way in fine style, following that up with success against Oscar Weightman, Joshua Paris, Tom Hands and finally Lui Maxted.
A semi-final clash against George Houghton now awaits for Matusevich at the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre. There was also a table-topping performance from Julian Cash, whose four wins from five matches was enough to top Pool A.
Jack Draper had looked set to top the pool having won his opening four matches before having to withdraw from this week’s event through injury. And Cash profited in the best way from his absence, downing Billy Harris in his last match of the week to confirm his place atop the standings.
Indeed, it was only Draper who got the better of Cash in the round-robin format, with Henry Patten now waiting in the wings in the semi-finals after he narrowly took second place in Pool B. While the semi-final line-up is set, it’s not the end of the road for any player in Loughborough, with classification matches across Saturday and Sunday organising the top 12 men and top 12 women in Week 3 action.