UK Pro League 2023 is underway! Week 1 is being hosted from 2nd-7th January at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, and the stage is set for a great week of Tennis.
The pool stage takes place over the first 3 days of the tournament. The 12-player draw is split into 4 pools of 3 and players compete within the pools in a round robin format. Players earn 3 points for a straight-sets win, 2 points for a win over 3 sets, 1 point for losing in 3 sets and 0 for losing in straight sets. The top 2 players from each pool progress into Thursday’s Quarter Finals, and the bottom player enters the 9-12th round robin for the rest of the week.
The week is set to be highly competitive, with the draw containing multiple previous Week Winners as well as two UKPL Champions: Anton Matusevich (UKPL Champion 2021) and Elena Malygina (UKPL Champion 2022). Both Matusevich and Malygina have made it through to the Quarter Finals. Matusevich did so without dropping a set, achieving the maximum 6 points to come top of his pool.
Previous weekly winners looking to add other win to their collection include George Loffhagen, who won his UKPL debut week in November. He beat Toby Samuel and Henry Searle in straight sets to come top of pool D. Loffhagen beat Matusevich in the final of Week 7 in an intense 3 set match- will these two meet again this week? Matusevich will face Aziz Kijametovic at 10:30am today and Loffhagen will be playing Ben Jones later in the day NB 13:00.
Eliz Maloney is also looking to add to her collection of UKPL trophies. The 22-year-old won 2 weeks last year and returns in good form for 2023. She beat Francesca Jones 6-4, 6-4 and Talia Neilson-Gatenby 6-2 6-3. Will her winning streak continue in the second half of the week? She faces Danielle Daley in her Quarter Final NB 11:45am.
Eden Silva, who recently reached a career high WTA ranking of 305, beat Summer Yardley in a quick 6-3 6-0, but faced a tougher contest against an on-form Katerina Stresnakova. Although Stresnakova triumphed in straight sets 6-2 6-4, Silva still reaches the Quarter Finals as she came 2nd in her pool. Silva has previously won a UKPL week, but Stresnakova is yet to, despite reaching multiple finals. Will this be her time?
Multiple players are making their UKPL debuts this week at the National Tennis Centre. Francesca Jones’s UKPL debut marks her return to competitive Tennis after being forced to take a year out due to injury. With a career high WTA ranking of 149, she made it though to the Quarter Finals after coming 2nd in Pool D. However, unfortunately, Jones has had to retire from the week and will be replaced by Jessica Matthews going forward.
Wildcard Henry Searle, who is just 16 years old, is also having an impressive UKPL debut and has progressed through to the Quarter Finals. His lightning-fast forehand helped earn him an impressive 2-6 6-4 10-5 win over Toby Samuel, although he lost 6-4 6-4 to previous Week Winner George Loffhagen. He faces Dan Little, some 9 years his senior, first up on Court 2 at 10:30am.
Watch all matches live and on demand for free at www.ukproleague.tv
Jessica Matthews (replaces Francesca Jones)
Players in 9-12th