The remaining spots for the eagerly-anticipated UK Pro League Finals Week are up for grabs when the Week 9 action begins at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on Monday.
The Premier League of British tennis, the innovative format is the only domestic competition for the UK’s top professionals and brings them together for nine weeks of action to qualify for Finals Week at the Shrewsbury Club in November.
Multiple players head into the final qualifying week with a chance of making Finals Week in Shropshire. In the men’s draw, Giles Hussey and Ewan Moore are both in contention for the ninth and final qualifying spot, which is currently occupied by Charles Broom.
With Week 5 winner and Week 6 runner-up Broom not competing, Hussey can usurp him by reaching the final – while Moore will snatch the final qualifying position if he wins Week 9. Hussey is in a group with Dan Little, George Davies and Sahej Maker, while Moore will be up against Alexis Canter, Llewelyn Bevan and Michael Shaw.
The highest-ranked player in action is Julian Cash, who has already qualified for Finals Week and currently sits third in the league table. Cash will top the table and seal top seeding for finals week should he reach the final in Bisham Abbey, and starts his campaign in a group featuring Liam Hignett, Jack Gibbens and Vijay Prashanth.
Josh Paris and Sean Hodkin, who have both already qualified for finals week, star in a group featuring Tom Hands and Cheraag Bajwa.
The women’s draw sees Katie Stresnakova, Danielle Daley, Lauryn John-Baptiste, Emma Wilson and Millie Bissett all battling for the final three qualifying spots.
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Stresnakova sits seventh in the rankings and is all but guaranteed a Finals Week spot, with a last-place finish and John-Baptiste winning the title – coupled with strong results for Daley and Wilson – the only way she would miss out.
John-Baptiste surged into contention after her Week 8 triumph but would need to reach the final and hope that at least one of Daley, Wilson and Stresnakova finishes towards the bottom of the week’s rankings.
Bissett would need to win Week 9 to have any chance, with Wilson and Daley both needing just seven points this week to move out of reach of John-Baptiste. Daley and Stresnakova find themselves in the same group alongside Abigail Amos, while John-Baptiste will face Nadia Rawson and Jizel Fernandes.
Wilson starts her campaign against Alice Gillan and Amy Leather, while Bissett takes on Eliz Maloney and Holly Hutchinson.
Gillan, Maloney and Rawson have all qualified for Finals Week and will all look to improve their seedings ahead of the hotly-anticipated Shrewsbury showpiece next month.