Keeping up with the Brits: 19 April, 2021


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Great Britain beat Mexico in the Billie Jean King Cup. Dan Evans claimed the biggest win of his career. Another doubles final for Neal Skupski. It’s time to review an outstanding week in British tennis. 

What happened in British tennis last week?

Great Britain’s hopes of reaching the Billie Jean King Cup finals next year took a huge boost at the weekend, after Katie Boulter and Heather Watson carried the Brits to a 3-1 win over Mexico.

Boulter began the tie with a big victory over Mexico’s leading player Marcela Zacarias, battling through a tough first set to win 7-5, 6-0. Watson then followed it up with a commanding win of her own over Giuliana Olmos to take a 2-0 lead for the Brits.

On day two, World No. 285 Zacarias pulled off a close win over Watson, but Boulter’s phenomenal performance against Olmos, beating the Mexican 6-4, 6-1, sealed Great Britain’s place in next year’s qualifiers.

What a week for Dan Evans in Monte Carlo. The Brit entered the ATP Masters 1000 event with only four singles tour wins on clay throughout his career, but put on a show in Monaco, where he reached the semi-finals.

After battling through a tough opener against Dusan Lajovic, Evans defeated 2021 Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz to set up a third round clash with 18-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

The British No.1 pulled off a huge scalp, becoming the only player in 2021 to beat the Serbian. The icing on the cake – it was a straight-sets win. Evans then marched on to beat David Goffin 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

However, the dream run came to an end in the semi-finals as Evans bowed out to eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. Evans will be hugely encouraged by his performance on clay with Rome, and Roland Garros, just around the corner.

But he wasn’t done there. Evans and Neal Skupski made their way to the doubles final in Monte Carlo – making it back-to-back Masters Finals for the all-British pairing.

Kings of the match tie-breaks, Evans and Skupski fought through a series of tough encounters on route to the final. In the quarter-finals they beat Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan, before scalping the top seeds Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6 (0), 2-6, 10-4.

As in Miami, they met Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the final, where they lost a nail-biter, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7.  The Brits are now fifth in the ATP Tour Finals Doubles race.

Elsewhere, it was another strong week for Liam Broady, who reached a fourth ATP Challenger semi-final in Belgrade. He defeated Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4 before falling to Roberto Carballes Baena in the semis.

In wheelchair tennis action, Cornelia Oosthuizen reached the women's doubles semis at the Mega Saray Open in Turkey, partnering Zoe Maras.

Meanwhile, Abbie Breakwell and Dahnon Ward both lived up to their top seedings to win the men's and women's singles at the first LTA Wheelchair National Series event of 2021 in Loughborough.

Rankings update

Four career high rankings for the Brits this week – congratulations to Evans, Skupski, Broady and Fran Jones on your achievements!

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Photo of the week

What a win. What a team.

Posts of the week

The best bits from a top class match win on Friday

All smiles at the Billie Jean King Cup

Katie Swan working hard in team practice 

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Johanna Konta backing the Brits at home

These two are on FIRE at the moment

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What is happening in British tennis this week?

It’s another busy week ahead for the Brits as they head over to Spain for the ATP 500 Barcelona. Man of the moment Evans looks to build on his fantastic performances last week, starting off with a bye before facing either Dominik Koepfer or Corentin Moutet in the second round.

Joining Evans will be Cam Norrie, whobeat World No.81 Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-1 in the first round. Up next for the Brit is 12th seed Karen Khachanov.

In the doubles draw, Evans and Skupski will be hoping to go one step further and lift the title in Barcelona. They start their campaign against Henri Kontinen and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

With Bruno Soares still recovering from injury, Jamie Murray teams up with Croatian doubles specialist Ivan Dodig for the first time. The duo will play home favourites Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.

If they win, they could face fellow Brit Joe Salisbury and his partner Rajeev Ram in the second round. First up however, the third seeds will need to battle past Cristian Garin and Guido Pella.

In more doubles action, Luke Bambridge and Dom Inglot head out to the ATP event in Belgrade this week, while Naomi Broady joins Elixane Lechemia in Istanbul.

Jay Clarke faces a tough opening round match up against Australian Thansai Kokkinakis at the ATP Challenger in Rome.

Back the Brits

Keep up-to-date with all the British players by following the LTA on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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