British Tour Masters 2020 review: Young stars Raducanu and Fery shine brightest
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Emma Raducanu and Arthur Fery underlined their credentials as potential future stars of British tennis by triumphing in the 2020 edition of LTA British Tour Masters.
The tournament, staged at the National Tennis Centre for the second time, welcomed the top eight men and women from the 2020 British Tour to compete in the year-end finale held over two days in Roehampton.
Kent’s Raducanu and Surrey’s Fery were crowned champions, both walking away with prize money of £3,000.
Raducanu went in to the tournament as the No.1 seed, and lived up to that billing with a quarter-final victory over 2020 bonus pool winner Grace Piper, followed by a semi-final walkover Sonay Kartal who aggravated a back injury practicing ahead of their clash.
The final saw Raducanu up against fellow 18-year-old Marni Banks who had beaten Emma Wilson then second seed, and 2019 British Tour Masters champion Alicia Barnett, to progress to the final.
Raducanu – who is ranked 345th in the world – prevailed 6-1, 6-4 to seal victory, despite Banks threatening a comeback in the second set.
In capturing her first British Tour Masters title, the 18-year-old achieved a unique double having also claimed the UK Pro Series Classic title in August.
Three days after being crowned the British Tour Masters champion, she further showcased her ability by winning two matches then taking British No.1 Heather Watson to three sets in the Battle of the Brits Premier League of Tennis.
On the men’s side it was all about Fery, who has been hugely impressive on the British Tour this season, winning four titles.
Unseeded in the Masters, Fery overcame Michael Shaw 6-1, 6-3 to set up an intriguing semi-final clash with top seed Anton Matusevich, who he faced often in 2020.
Matusevich, who himself won three British Tour titles over the summer, proved a fierce opponent but was no match for Fery who skilfully neutralised his powerful game for a 6-4, 6-3 victory and a place in the final.
Standing between Fery and a fifth domestic title of 2020 was second seed Luke Johnson, who had captured a Premier Tier British Tour title in Bath earlier in the year, pre-lockdown.
Johnson had come through a tough opening match against Sean Hodkin, who won the British Tour Masters in both 2017 and 2019, followed by a 6-3, 6-4 victory over fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Gray to reach the final.
However it was Fery who prevailed in the final 6-4, 6-1, meaning both titles went to players who had just completed their final year as a junior. Fery also finished year on top of the British Tour leaderboard to claim the 2020 British Tour bonus pool too.
Grace Piper, also 18, topped the women’s British Tour leaderboard to claim the 2020 British Tour bonus pool. The Taunton player won two titles during the year, and accumulated a highly impressive 23,502 points.
Tournament Director, Richard Joyner, said: “The British Tour Masters has been a great way to finish what has been a difficult year for everyone.
“Emma and Arthur were certainly worthy champions, while Bonus Pool winner Grace clearly showed the progress she has made since winning the National 18 and under junior title in 2019.
“It was also fitting that the National Tennis Centre was the venue for the final British Tour event of 2020, having staged nine ‘Return to Elite’ British Tour events from July to October.”
For LTA British Tour Masters women’s results click here.
For LTA British Tour Masters men’s results click here.
For LTA British Tour 2020 Roll of Honour click here.