10th November, 2022

Week 7 – Day 4 Recap

Today at Gosling Tennis Centre in Welwyn Garden City we kicked off Day 4 of the Week 7 UK Pro League competition.

The Quarterfinals began with a widely anticipated matchup between Anton Matusevich (the 2021 UK Pro League Champion) and Alexis Canter. Canter was coming just off the back of a record-breaking match against Billy Harris, in which he won the match tie-break 18-16. The first set saw both players playing good tennis, both holding their serves until game 5, whereafter four break points saved Matusevich who capitalised on the Canter serve. After Matusevich winning 100% of the points off his first serve, he was able to close out the first set 6-3. The second set did not disappoint with some fantastic tennis all round, with Canter being able to break Matusevich’s unbroken record in Week 7 by winning the set 7-5. Then came the nerve-jangling match tie-break, in which Matusevich again used his high-octane serve to hit 3 aces and, after a bit of line controversy, Matusevich concluded that matchup 10-5. Matusevich, 700 ranks Canter’s superior in the ATP rankings, was most probably expecting an easy matchup, but that was far from the truth; Canter played extremely well and should be delighted with his performance. Ultimately, Matusevich continues his brilliant form and will play Dan Cox in the semi-finals.

The next hotly contested Quarterfinals matchup came between Harry Wendelken vs.Joshua Paris. A very even contest between these two. Josh Paris was able to break three times in the first set to best a slightly inconsistent Wendelken. Wendelken had to bring the physio out during the first set, due to a an ab injury. The first set ended conclusively with Paris winning 100% of his first serve points and winning 6-1. The next set was sown with a different ending, a now electric Wendelken back to his best tennis showed how impressive he can be returning efficiently and forcing errors from the Paris game, concluding the set with a well-deserved tie-break win 7-6(3). As we’ve seen so often in this tournament, another game went to a match tie-break, just showing how contested and even these games are. Paris was back to his usual stuff, his serve was on top form, driving the exasperated Wendelken to the back of the court and governing the rallies. Winning a few mini-breaks and keeping up his high ace ratio, Josh Paris deservedly besting Wendelken 10-5. Josh Paris will now see the blooming George Loffhagen in a great matchup, stayed tuned on ukproleague.com to catch that one; it won’t be one to miss!

Another stimulating Quarterfinal came between Beth Grey (UK Pro League top seed) and Arina Vasilescu (the burgeoning star). The first set was a back-and-forward affair with a break for Vasilescu and two for Grey (a boomerang break). The word to describe this match was relentless, Grey beating Vasilescu in the first set 6-4, but it must be noted that the rallies between these two foes were incredible, with neither player gifting any points to the other. In a gladiatorial fashion, the second set began, both players exhausted at the time-sapping rallies they played. In game 10 of set 2, Grey held 5 deuces and attacks from Vasilescu to hold her nerve and take the game. But Vasilescu was not done yet, Beth evidently fatigued from the 20-minute game was broken at 6-5 to conclude the second set 7-5 Vasilescu. Another tense match tie-break lay up ahead. Grey using her experience and skill to take the lead early, but after an expected fight back from Vasilescu, Grey was able to win using her brutal back and forehand strokes. Beth Grey will face Eliz Mahoney in the semi-finals, again a match that has been widely anticipated, top seed vs. current best performer in the Week 7 matches.

Another interesting 9-12th place matchup was between Jessica Matthews and Emma Cohen. Cohen an alternate replacing Holly Hutchinson and Matthews a rising star. In the first set, a rambunctious game, with both players breaking one another over 2 times; the players only held their serves for half of the total games played. Emma Cohen, only with 17 years to her name, played superbly with a break point conversion ratio of 100%, also winning 10 of 10 returns of the Matthews second serve. In the second, Matthews demonstrated exactly why she is included in the stars of the UK Pro League dominating with her flat groundstrokes, pushing Cohen all about the court, upending her serve. The set culminated a seismic 6-2. Then came, once again, a contentious match tie-break, Matthews unable to get many first serves on the board and, as a result, Cohen prevailed to be the winner in a 10-6 win. A great game between the two youngsters, both playing very admirable and promising tennis.

There were also wins in the men’s Quarterfinal bracket for Dan Cox and George Loffhagen against Joe Tyler and George Houghton respectively.
Cox, a superb server of the ball made easy work of Tyler. Cox will face Anton Matusevich in the semi-finals. Equally, Loffhagen’s meteoric rise continued; in this form he is untouchable beating a well-rounded George Houghton in straight sets. He will face Josh Paris in the semis as the favourite.

In the women’s Quarterfinals, Eliz Maloney continued her inviolable form beating a strong Nadia Rawson in straight sets. Additionally, Alice Gillan also whipped Jizel Fernandes in straight sets. She is looking to get two UK Pro League week wins on the trot and will face Lauryn John–Baptiste in the semi-finals. Finally, in the matchup between Lauryn John-Baptiste and Danielle Daley, John-Baptiste was able to triumph over a higher seeded Daley. The first set was incredibly close, but you could sense that something wasn’t right in Daley’s game; shying away from her usual belligerent style. It was clear something was the matter, and ultimately there was, she retired after just three games into the second set. An unfortunate end for Daley, as she was looking like a strong contender for the title. But, as it stands, Lauryn John-Baptiste advances to play Alice Gillan in the semi-finals.

Day 4 Results:

In the Quarterfinal matchups:

• Anton Matusevich bt Alexis Canter 6-3, 7-5, 10-5
• Lauryn John-Baptiste bt Danielle Daley 7-6, 2-1 ret.
• Joshua Paris bt Harry Wendelken 6-1, 6(3)-7, 10-3
• Beth Grey bt Arina Vasilescu 6-4, 5-7, 10-5
• Dan Cox bt Joe Tyler 7-5, 6-2
• George Loffhagen bt George Houghton 6-1, 6-2
• Alice Gillan bt Jizel Fernandes 6-4, 6-2
• Eliz Maloney bt Nadia Rawson 6-1, 6-2

In the round-robin competition for 9-12th place:

• Billy Harris bt Maceo Simpson 6-3, 6-1
• Tiran Sanghera bt Ewan Moore 6-2, 6-2
• Emma Cohen bt Jessica Matthews 6-4, 2-6, 10-6
• Michelle Dzjachangirova bt Summer Yardley 6-4, 6-2