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Daily tennis news, info and updates from your Essex Tennis Team!
On Monday 26 August, the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year will get underway at Flushing Meadows and Britain's top players are ready to kickstart their campaigns.
Johanna Konta will be looking to build on her recent Grand Slam successes after reaching the semi-finals of the French Open and then the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. The 16th seed's best US Open result came in 2015 and 2016 when she reached the fourth round, but the British No.1 suffered tough opening round losses in 2017 and 2018. This year, she'll face world No.42 Daria Kasatkina for a place in the second round - the pair have met three times before (Sydney in 2017, Dubai in 2018 and Moscow in 2018) with the Russian prevailing twice so Konta will be looking to breakeven.
Men's British No.1 Kyle Edmund will take on Spain's Pablo Andujar in the opening round. The 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist's best run in New York came in 2016 when he reached the final-16. In 2017 he made the third round, but fell at the first hurdle last year. Edmund and the world No.71 have met just once before on the main draw of an ATP Tour event; in the final of an ATP 250 clay event in Marrakech which went in favour to Andujar.
World No.58 Dan Evans will face a player ranked just one place higher than him in the form of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Their only head-to-head came in 2018 at the Fever-Tree Championships with Mannarino triumphing. Evans' standout US Open moment was in 2016 when he reached the third round for the second time and took eventual champion Stan Warwinka to a thrilling five-set contest, when he even hold one match point. After a strong 2019 season which has seen him win two grass court titles on home soil (Surbiton and Nottingham) and reach the third round of Wimbledon, the Brit will be boosted with confidence heading into the Major.
Cam Norrie completes joins Kyle and Dan in the men's draw - the world No.60 has reached the second round in New York for the last two years and will be getting his 2019 run started against French qualifier Gregoire Barrere. The pair have played once before earlier this year in Mexico with Norrie clinching the win. Norrie and Evans will also compete in the men's doubles, with their partners to be announced soon.
Harriet Dart completes the quintet of Brits in singles action after successfully winning all three of her qualifying matches to secure a spot in the main draw. The GB Fed Cup star and world No.140 will take on Ana Bogdan for a place in the second round which will mark the first time the pair have met on tour. Dart is just seven places higher than Bogan in the WTA world rankings so it's set to be a close clash, but by reaching the third round of Wimbledon just two months ago and after a successful qualifying run, she will have momentum on her side going into her first US Open.
Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski's partnership began just two months ago at the Fever-Tree Championships and they have since reached two semi-finals on the hard court swing (the Cincinnati Masters and the Winston-Salem Open). Jamie Murray scooped the US Open title in 2016 with Bruno Soares and has prevailed in the mixed doubles twice (2017 with Martina Hingis and 2018 with Bethanie Mattek-Sands). Neal's best Grand Slam result came in 2017 when he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon with brother Ken.
Ken will be teaming up with New Zealander Marcus Daniell for the first time at a Grand Slam, whilst Dom Inglot will also be getting to grips with his new partnership with Brazil's Marcelo Demoliner. Joe Salisbury and America's Rajeev Ram will be looking to make their mark in New York after a successful season together; since January, they have won an ATP 500 in Dubai, reached the final of the Fever-Tree Championships and advanced to the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup recently in Montreal. Luke Bambridge will pair up with Japan's Ben McLachlan, and Jonny O'Mara and Arevalo Marcelo of El Salvador will debut as a doubles team.
There will be a three-strong British entry in the wheelchair events in New York this year with Alfie Hewett looking to successfully defend the men’s singles title he won when beating Japan’s Shingo Kunieda in last year’s final.
French Open finalist Gordon Reid will be hoping to reach a second Grand Slam singles final of the season, and he will also pair up with Hewett as they bid to complete a hat-trick of US Open men’s doubles titles.
Already a quad singles and doubles champion in New York, 2014 US Open quad singles champion Andy Lapthorne will aim to equal his recent success at Wimbledon. Lapthorne reached the inaugural quad singles final at The Championships and also won the quad doubles title partnering Australia’s Dylan Alcott. Lapthorne will team up with Alcott in New York this year after winning the last two US Open quad doubles titles partnering American David Wagner.
Live coverage is available on Amazon’s Prime Video subscription service, plus fans can keep up-to-date with all the latest British tennis news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and by signing up to the LTA's free newsletter.
Great Britain's Fed Cup team will face Slovakia in an away tie in next year's Qualifiers. The tie - taking place 7-8 February 2020 - will mark just the second time the two nations have faced one another - their only head-to-head was in 2006 for a Europe/Africa Group I zonal clash, with a 2-1 victory going to the Slovaks.
February's tie will follow a best-of-five match format (four singles and one doubles), with a place in the inaugural Fed Cup Finals at stake. The Finals will be held in Budapest, 14-19 April 2020.
Following their flawless performance in Bath and London earlier this year which saw the Brits return to the World Group for the first time since 1996, Great Britain were one of the eight seeded nations for Qualifiers. All eight seeded nations were drawn against one of the eight unseeded nations. The eight losing nations from Qualifiers will compete in Play-Offs against the eight winning regional Group I nations, with a place in the 2021 Qualifiers to play for.
Great Britain and Slovakia's qualifying tie will be one of eight taking place across the world in February. The eight winning teams from Qualifiers will be joined in Budapest by 2019 finalists Australia and France, host nation Hungary and wild card recipient the Czech Republic.
GB Fed Cup Captain Anne Keothavong said: "Now we know that we will face Slovakia away in February we can look towards preparing. It goes without saying there are no easy matches at any stage of the competition and we have worked hard to get to where we are now. We are looking forward to seeing what 2020 has in store for us as we continue to improve as a team."
Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about Great Britain's Fed Cup team by following the LTA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and signing up to the LTA's free newsletter. Ticket information will be released in the coming weeks.
Great Britain will be one of the eight seeded nations for the Fed Cup Qualifiers on 7-8 February 2020. If Anne Keothavong's team win the home or away tie, they will qualify for the inuagural Fed Cup Finals taking place in Budapest 14-19 April.
The ITF's new 'World Cup of Tennis' format for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas was announced in June 2019, three months after Great Britain re-wrote history by returning to the World Group for the first time since 1996.
The Fed Cup Qualifiers in February mark the first stage of the new event and will see 16 nations attempt to qualify for the Finals where 12 nations will battle in Budapest to become world champions. The eight winning teams from the Qualifiers will be joined by 2019 finalists Australia and France, host nation Hungary and wild card recipient the Czech Republic.
Eight of the sixteen nations competing in Qualifiers will be seeded, which means they will be drawn against an unseeded nation. Great Britain are seeded eighth (based on the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking from 22 April 2019) and could play any of the following countries: Brazil, Canada, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia or Slovakia.
Each of the eight qualifying ties will follow a best-of-five match format (four singles and one doubles) and the host nation will be determined depending on where the two nations last played - the team who had home advantage for the last tie will play away for the next tie. If the venue was neutral or their last meeting was before 1995, it will be decided by lot - likewise if two teams haven't previously met.
The draw will be made on Wednesday 21 August at 13:00 BST. Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about Great Britain's Fed Cup team by following the LTA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Niels Vink and Diede de Groot of the Netherlands secured a Dutch double on Sunday’s sixth and final day of the 30th British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships before Shingo Kunieda of Japan completed a memorable week at the Nottingham Tennis Centre by claiming his seventh British Open men’s singles title.
Hopes were high that the latest edition of the Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, which is part of the LTA’s summer series of major events, would end with a British singles champion.
World No.3 Andy Lapthorne went into the quad singles final leading 16-year-old Vink 2-0 after ther previous two meetings. Unable to build on a 4-2 first set lead, Lapthorne forced a decider after setting up set point with a perfectly executed lob, but Vink answered in kind with a precision lob of his own to earn his first championship point. Lapthorne saved two match points, but he was unable to salvage a third and Vink’s first ever Super Series tournament ended in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
After completing the quad singles and quad doubles ‘double’ for a brace of British Open titles, Vink said:
“It’s amazing to win my first Super Series titles at my very first Super Series tournament. I was nervous and my emotions were going up and down in the match but I brought them back to get the win. At the end of the second set and the beginning of the third set I was a little bit down because I made a lot of mistake. But I tried to stay positive.“
Lapthorne, who has now finished runner-up at the British Open in five of the last six years said:
“It’s always hard to lose in finals, but it was a good match. I’ve played some tough three-setters this week, winning two of them and almost coming through this one. I had my chances in the third set but just didn’t take them. It was high-quality tennis for the crowd and well done to Niels at 16-years-old. Credit to him.”
World No.1 De Groot also completed the women’s singles and doubles ‘double’ after beating fellow Dutchwoman and first-time British Open finalist Marjolein Buis 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Defending champion De Groot raced to a 4-1 lead before Buis put a forehand in the net to close the opening set. However, just as she had done in their Wimbledon quarter-final two weeks ago, world No.4 Buis claimed the second set after successive forehand errors from De Groot.
The reigning champion started the final set strongly, leading 5-0 before Buis retrieved one of the breaks against her. However, Buis misjudged a De Groot forehand that landed on the edge of her baseline to bring up a first championship point. But it was one of Buis’s own forehands that ultimately missed its target as De Groot cinched her second successive British open title on her second championship point.
Whilst admitting that she is now looking forward to a week’s break from wheelchair tennis, De Groot said:
“It feels very good to be back in Nottingham and to end the week with two titles. It’s been a really nice week.
“Marjolein stepped up her game in the second set and played the right shots at the right moment, so it was really nice to get a good start in the final set and I continued on from that. I think the intentions of the points I played in those last few games were good, but the way I played them was not always good. After losing two games in a row I knew I needed to be on top of it, but still play with the same intentions.”
British Open winners in the last two years, world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez and world No.2 Kunieda served up a rematch of their recent Wimbledon men’s singles final to warm the crowds as rain forced play indoors for the second successive day.
Defending champion Kunieda came from 2-1 down to take the opening set, putting away his second set point with a short cross-court forehand winner.
The top seed continued in the ascendancy and served out to love to earn a second 5-3 lead. Drama ensued as Fernandez kept alive his hopes of a second British Open title in three years with a scintillating backhand down the line winner. But a cross-court forehand pass set up Kunieda’s second set point and Fernandez finally succumbed as he hit his next forehand return into the net to give Kunieda a 6-3, 6-4 victory,
After claiming his seventh British Open men’s title, Kunieda paid tribute to his opponent. He said:
“Today’s match was very important to me because I have lost two times in a row to Gustavo. Gustavo, you give me a lot of motivation and energy so I want to improve more because of you. I have had many good results here, so it is a lucky place for me.”
The last day of action at the Nottingham Tennis Centre also saw the conclusion of the British Open Junior Championships, with Ross Gourley winning the singles title and Abbie Breakwell and Greg Slade claiming the doubles title.
The British Open Junior Championships featured many of Britain's leading junior players, with the singles and doubles champions among the players on the LTA’s Junior Futures Potential and Junior Futures Potential Programmes.
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