The day began with the 5-8th place matchups. First up was a match between George Houghton and Harry Wendelken. Both players showed strong talent; Wendelken was able to break in two of the Houghton games in the first set making the score 6-2. The second set was a tighter affair. Houghton’s serve was broken immediately due to the great first serve percentage points won by Wendelken (77%). Houghton then broke back with a boomerang break, until Wendelken persevered to break Houghton for a second time and won the match 6-2, 6-3. Ultimately, Houghton didn’t look as comfortable as he can behind the court, letting Wendelken dictate points with his monstrous groundstrokes.
The next matchup came between Arina Vasilescu and Nadia Rawson. Vasilescu, having just been beaten in a three-set thriller by Beth Grey (the top seed), was looking to ensure that she at least makes 5th place going into the finals of the UK Pro League in Nottingham. Vasilescu dominating with her backhands and good variety, throwing in the dropshot on occasion and using slice to change the tempo of the rally, was able to break in the 8th game and consolidate the break to win the first set 6-3. The second set showed a more routine performance for the 25-year-old, and with Rawson having trouble on her second serve, Arina capitalised winning 100% of points off the Rawson second serve. She closed that set out a comfortable 6-1.
Joe Tyler faced Alexis Canter, who was just off the back of a loss against the ever-strong Matusevich, landing him in the 5-8th play-offs. Canter bringing the game to Joe Tyler, who hitherto had only beaten Tiran Sanghera. Canter was the absolute dominant force in this matchup, Tyler showed a flurry of talent every now and again, but the imperious strokes from Canter didn’t allow Tyler to get up the court and try to attack some balls of his own. The match ended 7-5, 7-5, with Alexis breaking 3 times throughout and Tyler once.
The match between Tiran Sanghera and Maceo Simpson was decisive. It took Sanghera under an hour to complete the demolition. Simpson an alternate in this tournament and coming up against the very best, just couldn’t handle the game of the 21-year-old. The match ended a clean 6-1, 6-2.
The youthful matchup between Summer Yardley and Emma Cohen marked the first win for Yardley in the tournament, after having been introduced as an alternate in place of Danielle Daley. Cohen, the 17-year-old, was coming off the back of a decent win against Jessica Matthews and in form. Unfortunately Cohen suffered with a few ab problems during the first set and was only able to start to make a comeback in the second when it was all too late. The match concluded 6-0, 6-3.
Billy Harris and Ewan Moore went toe-to-toe in a thrilling matchup. Billy Harris, almost 700 ATP points Moore’s superior, must have thought it was going to be easy. It was quite the opposite with Moore not being broken once and losing both tie-breaks, with the first going to 13-11. Harris seems to love these tie-breaks as he previously this week played an 18-16 tie-break in which he lost to Alexis Canter. The game concluded 7-6(11), 7-6(4).
Finally, the matchup between Michelle Dzjachangirova and Jessica Matthews was a gripping one. Matthews unfortunately needed the physio for her game during the first set due to an ankle injury. She was then much less mobile on her feet and allowed Dzjachangirova to dictate the game, winning the first set 6-3. The second set, a different story set the stage; both players held until the moment it counted at 5-4. With Matthews serving, she was able to close out that set 6-4. Up came the match tiebreak, which was extremely close, with Dzjachangirova being slightly more accurate with the serve and forcing some more errors (but only by a fine margin). Michelle Dzjachangirova wins that matchup 6-3, 4-6, 10-8.
Day 5 results
• Michelle Dzjachangirova bt Jessica Matthews 6-3, 4-6, 10-8
• Summer Yardley bt Emma Cohen 6-0, 6-3
• Arina Vasilescu bt Nadia Rawson 6-3, 6-1
• Billy Harris bt Ewan Moore 7-6(11), 7-6(4)
• Alexis Canter bt Joe Tyler 7-5, 7-5
• Harry Wendelken bt George Houghton 6-2, 6-3
• Tiran Sanghera bt Maceo Simpson 6-1, 6-2