24th November, 2022

UKPL Finals Week 2022 – Women’s Pools Recap

It’s been an exciting few days here in Nottingham during the first stage of the 2022 UK Pro League Finals. In the pool stage, the 12 players are split into pools of 3, within which they compete. The top two from each pool proceed through to the Quarter Finals, whilst the third place enters the 9-12th play-offs.

Women’s Pool A saw Arina Vasilescu, Freya Christie and Eliz Maloney battle it out. Maloney, winning Weeks 5 and 7, is looking to extend her run of good form. In the first set of her match against Christie, Maloney saved 8 of 10 break points, winning 6-4. The second set weaved a different tale. With only one break being offered and taken, Christie took it and championed 6-4. The final match tiebreak was also closely fought, but Maloney’s recent meteoric rise had to hit a bump at some stage; she was stifled 10-5 in the final tiebreak, with Christie’s first serve being her saving grace. Maloney was on fire in the next match against Vasilescu and took advantage early in both sets, perhaps miffed at her recent defeat. The match concluded swiftly in just over 60 minutes 6-1, 6-1. This left Vasilescu needing to win in straight sets against a dominant Christie to secure her place in the Quarter Finals. Her first set performance dazzled an uncomfortable Christie, however she seemed to tire marginally in the 8th game of the second set, in which Christie just broke her. The rest of set two was routine for Christie, and with that in the bag she secured her spot in the Quarter Finals. It was clear in the match tiebreak that after Vasilescu’s defeat in the second she was slightly broken, the match concluded 4-6, 6-3, 10-7, meaning Christie tops Pool A.

Pool B for the women featured up and coming stars such as Elena Malygina, Joanna Garland and Katarina Stresnakova. Stresnakova began her UK Pro League Finals Week with a win against Garland. She edged past her 7-6(1), 7-5. However Elena Malygina wrapped up both pool matches with competence beating both Garland and Stresnakova in straight sets.

In Pool C, Lauryn John-Baptiste was able to overcome both Gabriella Knutson and Alice Gillan in straight-sets affairs. John-Baptiste, having reached the UK Pro League Week 7 Finals, has continued to excel, however, rather imperiously, John-Baptiste will face Eliz Maloney in the Quarter Finals, who she lost to in the Week 7 UK Pro League finals 6-2, 6-3. It will be interesting to see if she will be able to surmount the burgeoning star that is Eliz Maloney. Knutson, having beaten Gillan to come second in the pool, will face Christie in another Quarter Final match which should be interesting, given how close these two are in rankings- Christie currently at 454 and Knutson at 469 (WTA Rankings).

Women’s Pool D saw Maia Lumsden beat both Danielle Daley and Andre Lukosiute. It was ultimately the accuracy and power of Lumsden’s first serves (she had almost 80% of points won off her first serves) that led to her taking the match against Lukosiute, who is ranked the 4th best Lithuanian player at only 21 years old. The match concluded 7-6(4), 6-0. Daley vs Lumsden was less close, Lumsden winning 6-4 6-1 in 70 minutes. Daley will next see Alice Gillan in the 9-12th play-offs, whilst Lukosiute will face Elena Malygina in tomorrow’s Quarter Finals. Lumsden will face the runner-up of Pool D, Katarina Stresnakova.

With the Pool round robin matches complete, we now turn to the 9-12th Round-Robin matches and the Quarter Finals of the UK Pro League Finals Week. Watch live all week on BT Sport (Court 1), the Tennis Channel (Court 2) and ukproleague.tv (Court 2).

Tickets are still available to come watch the action at Nottingham Tennis Centre- buy here