A dramatic day of semi-final action at Chelsea’s Harbour Club set up two tantalising finals as Week 6 of the UK Pro League nears its thrilling conclusion.
Sonay Kartal prevailed in Week 5 of the women’s event at Aldershot Tennis Centre last month – and is now just a single match away from emulating those exploits after squeezing through her semi-final clash. Kartal had not lost a match all week and recent form made her the favourite against Danielle Daley, who was competing in her first Pro League semi-final of 2021.
The 19-year-old held firm after being pegged back following a dominant opening set, beating Daley 6-0, 4-6, 11-9 to move into the final.
And the south coast star said: “I think it was a very patchy match. It was one of those where you just have to find a way to win.
“I don’t think either of us were playing our best tennis but I’m happy with the way I fought and how I kept positive.”
Facing her in the final is Katarina Stresnakova, who is making just her second Pro League appearance of the year. Stresnakova rallied from a set down to beat Tiffany William 6-7 (3), 6-2, 10-5 and seal her place in her maiden Pro League final.
In the men’s event it was Isle of Man ace Billy Harris who was the first to progress to the final, beating Week 5 runner-up Julian Cash to reach his second Pro League final of 2021. Week 1 runner-up Harris failed to convert match points in the second set tiebreak but rallied superbly in the championship tiebreak to prevail 6-4, 6-7 (9), 10-2 to reach the final.
And the 26-year-old, who memorably played 42 matches in 42 days in the UK Pro Series last year, said: “I finished strongly.
“After losing that second set tiebreak I came out more calm and started going for my shorts a bit more, so I’m pleased with that.
“Tomorrow I just need to start the way I finished today, not overthinking it too much and just go for my shots.”
Harris now faces Charles Broom in tomorrow’s final, who won a nail-biting contest against Essex ace Henry Patten. Broom lost his opening match this week but will now contest the final after clawing his way to a 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-8 victory in his semi-final.
And when asked about his experienced final opponent, Broom said: “I know Billy’s really solid and he serves well so it’s going to be a slightly different match to today.
“At the same time, I can transfer a lot of the good things I did today into tomorrow, and maybe tighten up a little bit and not give quite so many points away.”