Norrie, Watson and Raducanu among top performers at the Battle of the Brits
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As the dust settles on another fantastic week of British tennis at the St James’s Place Battle of the Brits Team Tennis, it’s time to reflect on some of the outstanding moments from the event and in particularly, the top performers.
Over the course of the week, fans were treated to 60 matches featuring the best names in British tennis, from the world’s leading talent to the rising stars of the future. Whether you were backing the British Bulldogs or rooting for the Union Jacks, there’s no doubting that these players stood out as a few of the stars of the week.
Arguably the top performer at the event, British No.3 Cameron Norrie had a brilliant campaign and was one of the key contributors to the Bulldogs bringing home the title. Norrie played 7 matches in total across the event, only losing 1 as he was forced to retire with a slight injury during Day 6 of the competition.
However, Norrie managed to notch up a series of impressive wins, including 2 victories against British No.1 Dan Evans, where he looked back to his best. His impressive performances in the singles also translated over to the doubles court, where he held an unbeaten record scoring wins with both Johanna Konta and Beth Grey. Norrie now heads over to the States to join the restart of the ATP Tour with plenty of high-level match practice under his belt and will be a serious force to be reckoned with.
Unlike many of the players involved in the Battle of the Brits Team Tennis, Heather Watson entered the competition having not played a competitive match since the suspension of the WTA Tour. But watching some of her performances from the week, many might not have believed it, as the British No.2 showcased why she has been at the top of the game all throughout her career.
Watson played an incredible 10 matches across the week, of which she won 7, and was the only player to go unbeaten in the singles. Her main highlights being a commanding win over one of Britain’s top emerging talents, Emma Raducanu, and that incredible 17-15 match tie-break win with Jamie Murray over Harriet Dart & Liam Broady.
At just 17-years-old, Emma Raducanu was the youngest player at the event, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the way she performed and how she was able to handle the pressure. After being named in the GB Fed Cup team earlier this year, Raducanu has been highly touted as one of Britain’s top young talents and it was easy to see why.
Throughout the week she won half of her 8 combined singles and doubles matches, including some tough challenges from the likes of Jodie Burrage and a close doubles clash as she faced former world No.1 Andy Murray. Needless to say, British tennis fans are sure to hear a lot more from Raducanu in the years to come.
Australian Open men’s doubles champion earlier in the year, Joe Salisbury showed fans exactly why he’s now Britain’s top-ranked doubles player. Salisbury was key to many of the closest matches at the competition, where he managed to hold his own and performed well under the pressure. On the first couple of days, he managed to win 2 tight matches in the match tie-break and of course, was instrumental in the title deciding mixed doubles clash.
Since elite tennis competition returned in Great Britain, very few players have played as many matches as Jodie Burrage. A runner-up at both the Progress Tour Women’s Championships and the LTA’s British Tour, she has been in fine form and it certainly carried over to the Battle of the Brits Team Tennis.
Burrage won 4 out of 6 of her singles clashes, which of course included the upset of the tournament in beating British No.1 Johanna Konta on Day 1. She was an outstanding competitor across all of her matches and when she wasn’t playing, was one of the Union Jacks top supporters.
Like Watson, Harriet Dart has had little match practice since March, but played brilliantly all week, especially on the doubles court. Having featured in 6 doubles matches, Dart won 5 and was particularly dominant in her women’s doubles clashes. British fans will be hopeful that Dart can carry this form over to the WTA Tour and continue to rack up the wins.
No player starred in more doubles matches than Lloyd Glasspool at the Battle of the Brits Team Tennis. As the doubles talisman for the Union Jacks, he played a key role in the team’s comeback throughout the week, picking up some important points.
Glasspool won 5 out of his 7 matches, including a series of victories with both of the Murray brothers. After featuring as a finalist at the last Battle of the Brits competition, Glasspool has showed he is amongst the top doubles stars in the country.