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Keeping up with the Brits: 29 November, 2021

What happened in British tennis last week?

Outside of the GB team success getting us to the Davis Cup Quarter Finals in Innsbruck, there was more success for British players competing around the world last week.

Felix Gill won his first title on Sunday, winning the ITF M15 Cairo. The 19-year-old was in impressive form on the clay in Egypt, edging out his Italian opponent, Gianluca Acquaroli 7-6(4) 6-2 to take home the trophy.

Lloyd Glasspool and his doubles partner Harri Heliovaara won the ATP Challenger doubles title in Bari, defeating Andrea Vavassori and David Vega Hernandez 6-3,6-0 in the final, completing a great week for the top seeds.

Sonay Kartal continued the British success by winning the W15 Monastir, her second title following her win at the ITF W15 event in Antalya earlier this month. The 20-year-old defeated Ayumi Morita in the final.

Jonathan Gray was in doubles action in Cairo and alongside his French doubles partner Nathan Seateun, overpowered Amr Asrawy and Sherif Makhlouf by two sets to one in the final to see two British players (the other being Felix Gill) celebrating success in the Egyptian capital.

18-year-old Jack Pinnington Jones won his second M15 title, following his win in Antalya in October. The Surrey local, who is supported by the LTA’s Pro-Scholarship Programme for 2021, defeated Romanian Nicholas David Ionel 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the final. Pinnington Jones had a close match again fellow Brit Charles Broom in the semi final, coming out on top 7-5, 6-2.

Jay Clarke was in action the ATP Challenger event in Bahrain, reaching the semi-final where he came up against Indian 6th seed Ramkumar Ramanathan. Clarke took the first set 5-7, before going down 6-3,6-2, with Ramanathan going on to win the title.

Amelia Bissett and her French doubles partner Anaelle Leclercq were crowned champions in the W15 Cancun doubles event, winning the final in straight sets. Giles Hussey reached the final of the M15 Cancun event and suffered a narrow loss to Nam Hoang Ly in the final. 

There are seven Brits in action at the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Aksa Dogalgaz Open in Turkey which started on the weekend with the latter stages of the competition to be contested during the early part of this week. Ben Bartram is aiming to try and make it back-to-back Junior Singles titles after his win in Turkey at the end of last week.

Elsewhere, Emma Raducanu was in action in the Royal Albert Hall Exhibition where she defeated Romania's world No 85 Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

What is happening this week in British Tennis?

Back to the quarter finals of the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten, Britain will face Germany in Innsbruck on Tuesday.

Brits in action on ITF Tour

W25 Jablonec and Nison – Sarah Beth Grey

M15 Heraklion – Sean Hodkin, William McLennaghan, Adam Jones

M15 Monastir – Roan Jones

M15 Santo Domingo – Louis Allan

W15 Antalya – Carla Nokes

W15 Cancun – Amelia Bissett

W15 – Heraklion – Graziella Barrett, Lauryn John-Baptiste

W15 Monastir – Anna Brogan, Eliz Maloney

LTA Colour Holder Programme to Recognise and Celebrate Tennis Players that have Represented Great Britain

The LTA has today unveiled a new ‘Colour Holders’ programme, designed to acknowledge and celebrate players who have represented Great Britain at tennis.

The revival of Colour Holders this year, which for the first time now also recognises wheelchair tennis players alongside non-wheelchair players, marks 125 years since the first ever players competed for Great Britain in tennis at the 1896 Olympics in Athens.

WATCH: Re-introducing GB Colour Holders

To celebrate the launch of the Colour Holders programme, the LTA has produced a video featuring contributions from Virginia Wade, Tim Henman and Peter Norfolk:

Historically, from the early 20th Century up until the 80’s, players would receive a ‘Colour’ when they played for Great Britain, the equivalent of receiving a cap in football or rugby. Becoming a Colour Holder was indicated by a unique shield, which has been given a refresh and will be taken forward as the new symbol of Colour Holders.

As part of the re-introduction of the programme and following the collation of historical records, the LTA has produced a sequential list of all players to have ever represented Great Britain at tennis since those very first ones 125 years ago. There are currently only 314 players ever to have done so, with each player having been allocated their own personal number to reflect their place on the list.

A player becomes a Colour Holder when they first step on court to represent Great Britain in one of the Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Fed Cup), Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup or the Olympics & Paralympic Games. Players who participated in two past international team tennis competitions - the Wightman Cup and Kings Cup - are also included on the Colour Holder list.

The programme will also provide the oppoprtunity to collaborate and engage with Colour Holders as the LTA continues its work to open up tennis to many more people across Britain.

See all 314 Colour Holders & their individual sequential numbers

To see the full list of 314 Colour Holders to have represented Great Britain at tennis and their individual sequential numbers, click on the link below:

LTA CEO, Scott Lloyd said: “We are excited to relaunch Colour Holders to the British tennis community. Representing your country in any sport is a special achievement, and tennis is no different.  Through the reintroduction of the programme and the allocation of personal representative numbers to each player, it is an accomplishment that we want to ensure is widely recognised and celebrated for players past, present and future.”

The reintroduction of the programme has been done in consultation with former players and led by LTA President David Rawlinson: “I’d like to thank all of those who have contributed to the development of the new programme. Representing your country provides a status that a player can carry with them for the rest of their lives, and the new Colour Holders programme allows us to celebrate that in a fitting way and ensure our leading players continue to feel a valued part of the British tennis family.”

I feel proud to be a Colour Holder - there is great history to this programme and to see so many names on the list is fantastic

Colour Holder No. 144, Virginia Wade said: “It is great that Colour Holders has been revived to acknowledge all the players that have represented Great Britain in tennis. I feel proud to be a Colour Holder - there is great history to this programme and to see so many names on the list is fantastic."

LTA Wheelchair National Finals return to Shrewsbury as thriving domestic calendar concludes

Forty-three players of all ages and abilities from across the country will do battle for the singles and doubles titles at the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis National Finals, which takes place at The Shrewsbury Club from Thursday, 25 to Sunday 28 November.

The culmination of a thriving domestic calendar of National Wheelchair Tennis Series tournaments that have been held across England, Scotland and Wales this year, the National Finals will see some of the country’s most promising players line up alongside experienced competitors as The Shrewsbury Club hosts the prestigious event for the fourth time since 2017.

After the 2020 Wheelchair Tennis National Finals was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a wealth of former champions and finalists in men’s, women’s, quad and junior singles and doubles draws lead they entry this year, including 2018 men’s singles winner Ruairi Logan and 2019 runner-up Tony Heslop.

Logan and Heslop went head-to-head in the men’s final at the Shrewsbury Open in July, in the second of seven National Wheelchair Tennis Series tournaments, with similar one or two-day events staged in Newport, Grantham, London, Taunton, Glasgow and Leeds to give players of all age, ability and experience levels the opportunity to compete and progress along a proven pathway,

Among the men’s semi-finalists at July’s Shrewsbury Open was 17-year-old Andrew Penney, who made his National Finals debut in Shrewsbury in 2019 and won the men’s singles at the first and last National Wheelchair Tennis Series events of 2021, in Newport and Leeds.

Penney joined the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme in May 2020 and is one of several players on the same performance pathway who compete in Shrewsbury this week, including Martha Harris and Ellie Robertson, who will be among the challengers to women’s singles top seed and former National Finals winner Debbie Brazier.

The entry for the quad singles, for players who are impaired in three or more extremities, includes 2018 National Finals champion Gary Cox and 18-year-old Dan Pennington-Bridges. Meanwhile, the Under 18 Singles entries includes two more players on the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme, Oliver Cox and Ruben Harris.

An encouraging entry for the Novice Singles includes several players who began their wheelchair tennis journeys in 2021 and who have come through the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Initiative, a programme of taster days across the country that provided an aspirational experience of wheelchair tennis in a bid to increase the base of players who could yet go on to become future champions. 

Looking ahead to the 2021 Wheelchair Tennis National Finals, Keith Carder, LTA Head of Competition, said:

“Our LTA National Wheelchair Tennis Series of tournaments and the National Finals are an important part in providing age and experience-appropriate levels of aspirational competition for all players, whatever their background and goals for the future. After the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 National Finals we are delighted to be back at the Shrewsbury Club to celebrate a year of returning to competition across all tiers of tennis. The success of British players this year at the Tokyo Paralympics and the Grand Slams only highlights the success of the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway and our National Finals entry will hopefully include a number of future stars.”

To see the full draw for the Wheelchair National Finals, please click here  

Wheelchair tennis is part of the LTA’s Open Court programme, which is one of the biggest disability-specific sports development programmes in the country. The programme is delivered at a local level made up of a collaboration of key partners actively promoting and delivering opportunities for disables people to get involved in tennis through a customer focused approach. To find out more about the Open Court programme and wheelchair tennis, please click here.

Keeping up with the Brits: 22 November, 2021

What happened in British tennis last week?

Joe Salisbury finished his incredible season as runner-up at the Nitto ATP Finals. Salisbury and Rajeev Ram ended the year as the second best team on tour and showed their quality throughout the week, going unbeaten to the final.

There, they met French stars Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who they defeated in the group stages, but the third seeds got their revenge in the final, winning 6-4, 7-6(0).

Jamie Murray and Cam Norrie made up three Brits competing at this year’s finals in Turin – Murray partnering Bruno Soares and Norrie getting the call up after Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled out injured.

Murray and Soares lost a few close battles – including one to Ram and Salisbury – while Norrie was edged in one of the matches of the tournament to Casper Ruud and Novak Djokovic.

In his final preparations for Liam Broady reached the quarter-final at the ATP Challenger in Helsinki.

Beat Zsombor Piros and Joris De Loore in straight sets but lost a close match to former World No.28, Joao Sousa, 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(1).

There were a couple of British champions in doubles events on the ITF Tours. At the W25 Funchal, Alicia Barnett won her sixth doubles title of the year, partnering Yu-Chieh Hsieh to win a nail-biting final against Ines Murta and Daniela Vismane 6-1, 3-6, 10-8.

Dan Little and Ben Jones completed back-to-back title victories at the M15 Sharm El Sheikh defeating Neil Oberleitner and Volodymyr Uzhylovskyi in the final 6-3, 6-2

Billy Harris made it through to final of the M15 Antalya without dropping a set, but eventually lost in three sets to third seed Daniel Michalski. The result continues his strong form continues – winning in Turkey a couple of weeks ago.

Photo of the week

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Posts of the week


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What’s happening in British tennis this week?

This week kick-starts the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten, with the British team looking to bring home their 11th title in the World Cup of tennis.

Cam Norrie, Dan Evans, Liam Broady, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski begin their tournament in Group B, with weekend ties against France and Czech Republic. Read our full preview.

In ATP Challenger action in Bari, Jack Draper started his singles campain with straight sets win over Yannick Maden. Next up he’ll play World No. 213 Thomas Fabbiano for a place in the quarter-finals.

Joining Draper in Bari is Lloyd Glasspool, teaming up with Harri Heliovaara as the No.1 seeds in the doubles draw. Their first match is up against Toshihide Matsui and Kaito Uesugi.

Over at the Manama Challenger, Jay Clarke took out Hasan Abdulnabi 6-0, 6-0 in the opening round and will play Matteo Viola next. Meanwhile, Ryan Penniston defeated fourth seed Christopher O’Connell and now moves on to play Geoffrey Blancaneaux.

Shifting over to the ITF Tour, Naiktha Bains is competing in the W100+ Dubai this week, taking on Qinwen Zheng who ranks 145 places higher than the Brit. In the doubles, Eden Silva will partner Bibiane Schoofs.

Jodie Burrage is the top seed at the W25 Milovice, in a draw that also features Sarah Beth Grey. Emily Webley-Smith also lines up in the doubles draw.

Brits in ITF Tour action:

  • M15 Cairo – Jonathan Gray
  • M15 Heraklion – Alastair Gray, Henry Patten, Arthur Fery, Jack Pinnington Jones and Chris Broom
  • M15 Gurugram – Alexis Canter
  • M15 Cancun – Giles Hussey
  • M15 Monastir – Josef Southcombe
  • W15 Monastir – Sonay Kartel and Danielle Daley
  • M15 Antalya – Billy Harris

Nine Brits are on tour this week at the Hulya Avsar Open in Antalya, Turkey, an ITF Futures Series event on the Wheelchair Tour.

  • Men: Ben Bartram, Joshua Johns,  Dahnon Ward
  • Women: Ruby Bishop, Abbie Breakwell
  • Quads: Antony Cotterill, James Shaw, Greg Slade
  • Juniors: Ben, Dahnon, Josh, Abbie and Ruby
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