14 - 18 July 2020

Progress Tour Women’s Championships

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Progress Tour Women's Championships: Day 5 match updates

  • 18/07/2020

  • News

Highlights

  • Katie Boulter is crowned Progress Tour Women's Championships winner after coming back to beat Jodie Burrage
  • Amelia Bissett takes the Division 1 singles title after beating Erin Richardson 6-3 6-2
  • Barnett & Nicholls seal victory in the doubles final
  • Watch matches live on YouTubeFacebook and via the BBC Sport digital channels

Barnett & Nicholls claim doubles championship

It has been a long week for all concerned at the Progress Tour Women’s Championships, and in particular for the pair who were instrumental in bringing the Women’s Championships edition about.

Following the popularity and success of Jamie Murray’s Battle of the Brits, Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls worked with Progress Tour tournament director Barry Fulcher and long-term women’s tennis supporter Terry Oakes to bring this event to life.

Barnett and Nicholls progressed as far as their Premier and Division One semi-finals respectively, and Barnett won the Tie Break Tens for the second time, having won the British Tour edition earlier during the return to competition.

So, it seemed fitting that they would cap off a tough week with claiming the doubles title. After a nervy start trading breaks with Emily Arbuthnott and Anna Popescu, they nudged ahead once more before serving out the first set.

Starting the second set strongly, they were pegged back before a flurry of breaks and holds led to a tie-break and came under a lot of pressure before edging out the tie-break to crown a busy week 6-3 7-6(4).

Boulter outlasts Burrage to claim Premier title

Katie Boulter’s experience won out as she completed a successful return to competition with a three-set win over Jodie Burrage, 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2.

It was by far a better start for Burrage at the start of the match, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, before Boulter started to find her range more, settling the nerves, and breaking back, but Burrage, who has definitely been putting in the match time over the past three weeks, held her nerve to break back and regained the advantage.

Burrage, who had said her intention was to have the game on her racquet today, took advantage of more errors coming from Boulter to take the first set, in blustery conditions.

Both are heavy strikers, and Boulter found herself having to put in some hard yards at the start of the second set to stop Burrage from claiming an immediate break.

The pair traded breaks in the middle of the set and with both beginning to look weary, especially after long rallies, Boulter found herself in danger, being broken at the end of the second set, with Burrage coming out to serve for the title.

However, Burrage handed Boulter a lifeline, with errors gifting the former World No. 82 the break back to force a tie-break. Here Burrage started to struggle, as Boulter just proved to be a little stronger at the end, just edging the second-set tie-break.

A couple of errors from Burrage gave Boulter an early break at the start of the third set, and just slightly the momentum that had been building in the second set was swinging more strongly towards Boulter.

Frustration started to set in for Burrage, as Boulter started to turn the screw with two straight breaks while the errors started to flow. Experience won out as Boulter, whose movement had steadily improved throughout the match, stayed solid to close out the title win in her first tournament back, since March this year.

Boulter will see how she reacts to this week’s play before deciding if she will continue with domestic competition.

Breakthrough performance from Amelia Bissett to start Finals day

The Progress Tour Women’s Championships has its first champion, as 17-year-old Amelia Bissett downed Erin Richardson for the Division One title.

Coming in as a late call up, Bissett did not drop a set throughout the tournament.

The talented teen took the battle to the 19-year-old Erin Richardson right from the start, and even though the older athlete started to mix things up, Bissett’s clean hitting, and her composure stood out.

There are more matches next week at St. George’s Hill for Bissett, and she is hoping that the larger scale tour come-back will include the ITF Junior level events.

Day 5 Order of Play

Amelia Bissett vs Erin Richardson

Katie Boulter vs Jodie Burrage

Alicia Barnett & Olivia Nicholls vs Emily Arbuthnott & Anna Popescu

Alicia Barnett takes the Tie Break Tens title

In the blistering sun at the end of the day, the short-form format proved to be a fun way to end Friday's action.

Tournament co-organiser Alicia Barnett has proved to be a tough-as-nails opponent this week, and this competition was no exception. She edged out the big-hitting Freya Christie in the heats, before tackling college player Emily Arbuthnott to face Alice Gillan in the final.

Gillan’s tournament was also exceptional – originally in Division One and bumped up into the Premier groups following injury withdrawals earlier in the week. She made the most of that experience, easing past Maia Lumsden and Jodie Burrage.

Barnett raced into the lead 8-1, but Gillan dug deep to erode the deficit with some wild errors helping Gillan’s cause. Pegged back to 8-8, an error and a double fault from Gillan gave Barnett her well-deserved win, and she gets a chance to play in a global Tens event in the future, dependent on the return of the tours.

Burrage wins nervy semi-final to face Boulter once more

Jodie Burrage

The scene is set for the finals of the progress Tour Women’s Championships, as Jodie Burrage beat Alicia Barnett to book the Premier finals berth.

It has been a busy few weeks for both Barnett, who was instrumental in getting this tournament off the ground, and Burrage who has arguably one of the more consistent Brits in the return to competition.

With plenty of matches in their legs, it was a nervy start for the pair, trading breaks for the first four games, before they both settled down to hold, and Burrage hustled for a break towards the end of the set, serving out for the lead.

The chopping and changing of breaks continued in the second set with Burrage taking a 3-0 lead but surrendering one of the breaks immediately. Burrage said, after the match: “I’m feeling it now, so happy to be in the final but it’s all catching up to me.”

Both Katie Boulter and Burrage have spoken of how they have worked both physically and mentally, and she added: “in the past years I wouldn’t have been able to do this,” in terms of playing back to back tournaments and matches.

She still has doubles and Tie Break Tens to play today before the final against Boulter tomorrow.

The first doubles berth was settled earlier, with Emily Arbuthnott and Anna Popescu defeating Esther Adeshina and Sonay Kartal 6-4 7-6(4).

Burrage withdraws from doubles SF after booking Premier final spot

The last piece of the final jigsaw falls into place for the Progress Tour Women’s Championships as Jodie Burrage withdraws from the doubles giving tournament masterminds Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls a walkover into the final where they will meet Emily Arbuthnott and Anna Popescu.

Boulter outhits Christie to make the Premier final, Division One line-up set

Katie Boulter

Katie Boulter continues a fantastic return to competition with a straight-sets win over close friend Freya Christie, 6-3 7-6(5).

Boulter started the match with great intent, hitting very solidly from the back of the court, and decisively when she came forward. With just a little more variety at her fingertips, her returns in general tended to catch Christie out.

There looked to be a flurry of resistance from Christie in the second set, finally converting on her second break point to take the lead in the second set, with frustrations setting in for Boulter. As scoreboard pressure mounted it was Christie’s time for a wobble as she was pegged back on level terms.

But in the tie-break, it was Boulter’s controlled aggression that steered her to the win.

In the first result of the day, in Division One, Erin Richardson was in commanding form against Nell Miller, 6-2 6-2. Richardson had to wait until the end of the day’s play to see if she had qualified, taking the top spot in a three-way tie on set count-back, but proved she was very deserving of that top spot coming into today’s semi-finals.

She will face Amelia Bissett who has yet to drop a set this tournament. The 17-year-old has been in tremendous form throughout the tournament, having been a late call-up into the Division One line-up and now finds herself in the final after beating Olivia Nicholls 6-3 6-4.

Day 4 Order of Play

Premier singles

Katie Boulter vs Freya Christie (play starts at 11:00am)

Jodie Burrage vs Alicia Barnett 

Division 1 singles

Olivia Nicholls vs Amelia Bissett (play starts at 11:00am)

Nell Miller vs Erin Richardson (play starts at 11:00am)

Doubles

Adeshina/Kartal vs Arbuthnott/Popescu

Burrage/Christie vs Barnett/Nicholls

Richardson pips Allen for the last Division One semi-final berth

It all came down to the last Division One group stage match on Day 3 of the Progress Tour Women’s Championships.

Victoria Allen’s win over Mae Mcutcheon put her in a three-way tie with Olivia Nicholls and Erin Richardson all on two wins and each with three matches played. On set countback, Erin Richardson tops Group Sam Smith with Olivia Nicholls in second.

Richardson will face Nell Miller, and Nicholls will be up against the 17-year-old Amelia Bissett who has yet to drop a set in the Division One tournament so far.

Esther Adeshina and Sonay Kartal advanced to the top of Group Jo Durie by virtue of a walkover, when Jodie Burrage opted to pull out of the scheduled doubles following her match against Katie Boulter. Both had qualified anyway, and so Adeshina and Kartal will face Emily Arbuthnott and Anna Popescu, while Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls top the group going three from three and will face Jodie Burrage and Freya Christie.

Boulter battles past Burrage to clinch top spot in Group Anne Keothavong

Katie Boulter

Katie Boulter showed no signs of any lack of match play, as she breezed past Jodie Burrage in the final round-robin stage match to top Group Anne Keothavong.

Boulter started strongly with two straight breaks of serve before Burrage started to ease herself back into the match, getting one of the breaks back, but losing her serve once more as Boulter wrapped up the first set.

It was a stronger start for Burrage in the second set as she jumped to a 3-0 lead. Although the momentum shifted back to the former World No. 82, she squandered three match points and saw another two in the tie-break go begging before closing out 6-3 7-6(5).

She will face Freya Christie in the semi-finals, after Christie was edged out of a long three-setter by tournament collaborator and organiser Alicia Barnett.

The other Premier semi-final will be between Barnett and Burrage.

The youngest player in the draw, Amelia Bissett continued her winning ways with another straight sets win, but this time challenged by Aimee Gibson. Bissett tops Group Annabel Croft with Nell Miller in second place by virtue of matches played.

Barnett wins marathon match to top the group

Alicia Barnett

Despite the blustery conditions, Christie’s heavy-hitting game was serving her well in the first set, starting decisively with two breaks and although pegged back by Barnett with one of the breaks, Christie broke once more before serving out for a one-set lead.

However things looked to be unravelling, as Barnett was the one to leap into a 4-1 lead, before Christie got back into the match, breaking twice to nudge ahead, before Barnett fought back to level at 5-5, going on to take the tie-break.

Barnett looked to be in the ascendency, breaking early for a lead, but Christie fought back to get on level terms. This match was not done with twists and turns with Barnet breaking for a 5-4 lead and with the finish line in sight, rounded it out with a service game to love.

Both Christie and Barnett advance to the semi-finals, with Barnett topping the group.

Erin Richardson finished with a flourish, closing out her last match against Olivia Nicholls with a 6-1 6-1 win. As it stands Richard and Nicholls top Group Sam Smith, but final positions might still have to be determined via more detailed calculations depending on Victoria Allen’s results later in the day.

In Group Annabel Croft. Nell Miller’s win over injury replacement Lilian Mould puts her second in the group for now behind Amelia Bissett who has yet to lose a match in the round-robin stages. She will play Aimee Gibson (another injury replacement) later.

Day 3 Order of Play

Premier singles

Emily Arbuthnott vs Alice Gillan (play starts at 11:00am)

Freya Christie vs Alicia Barnett (play starts at 11:00am)

Jodie Burrage vs Katie Boulter

Division 1 singles

Olivia Nicholls vs Erin Richardson (play starts at 11:00am)

Nell Miller vs Lillian Mould

Aimee Gibson vs Amelia Bissett 

Vitoria Allen vs Mae Mcutcheon

Doubles

Barnett/Nicholls vs Arbuthnott/Popescu

Annane/Griffin vs Davis/Pethybridge

Burrage/Christie vs Adeshina/Kartal

Barnett edges Lumsden in Group Elena Baltacha

There was quite the contrast in the Premier Division Groups at the Progress Tour Women’s Championships on Day 2.

While Jodie Burrage and Katie Boulter stormed through their respective second round matches, both declaring they felt a lot more comfortable than their openers, Group Elena Baltacha started with a tight three-setter against Alicia Barnett and Maia Lumsden.

Exchanging a break of serves in the first set there was little to separate them, with Lumsden just holding her nerve at the decisive end of the tie-break.

The pair had a flurry of breaks in the second set, but as in her first match, Barnett looked to be getting into her groove, breaking once more, and serving out the second set to level up the match.

Lumsden gifted Barnett a break at the start of the decider and the heavily strapped Lumsden started to lose ground to the tournament collaborator who kept the pressure on to the finish line, 6-7(4) 6-4 6-3.

The group lost Katie Swan on Tuesday with a right hip injury and will continue with just the three players.

In Division 1, more injury replacements saw Mae Mcutcheon come in for Danielle Daley. She faced Olivia Nicholls who backed up her opening win on Tuesday with a resounding 6-0 6-0 victory.

Boulter cruises to join Jodie Burrage in the semi-finals

Boulter made an assertive start to her second match at the Progress Tour Women’s Championships. Emily Arbuthnott certainly was able to force some very entertaining rallies, but the former World No. 82 was in no mood to hang around as she coasted through the first set.

There was no let up in the momentum for Fed Cup player, who broke early once more at the start of the second set. Boulter dictated well throughout from the back of the court, even as Arbuthnott looked a little more comfortable in the second set, losing just the one game.

Boulter now joins Jodie Burrage in the semi-finals, and the pair will face each other to decide who tops the group on Thursday.

In Division One, Victoria Allen did well to come from a set down to clinch a must-win match to keep herself in the running for positions in Group Sam Smith, She battled her way to a three set victory over Erin Richardson 2-6 6-4 6-3.

Burrage and Bissett storm through to start Day 2

Rain could not delay the action for long on Day 2 of the Progress Tour Women’s Championships.

It was a quick turnaround for Alice Gillan, who moved up into the group by way of injury drop-outs and gave a solid account of herself on Day 1 against Katie Boulter.

Up against Jodie-Anna Burrage, now on a fantastic roll of 12 wins from 13 matches, Gillan struggled on a gloomy day with her serving, and Burrage was quick to punish.

Burrage was in even more devastating form in the second set, as she denied Gillan even a game on the board.

In Division 1, 17-year-old Amelia Bissett absolutely blasted out of the blocks beating Nell Miller 6-1 6-0 and having been equally commanding in her first match, tops the group for the loss of just three games so far.

Day 2 Order of Play

Premier singles 

Jodie Burrage vs Alice Gillan (play starts at 11:00am)

Katie Boulter vs Emily Arbuthnott

Alicia Barnett vs Maia Lumsden 

Division 1 singles

Nell Miller vs Amelia Bissett (play starts at 11:00am)

Victoria Allen vs Erin Richardson  (play starts at 11:00am)

Sasha Hill vs Lilian Mould

Mae Mcutcheon vs Olivia Nicholls

Doubles

Davis/Pethybridge vs Adeshina/Kartal

Allen/Hill vs Arbuthnott/Popescu

Burrage/Christie vs Anane/Griffin

Barnett/Nicholls vs Bissett/Miller

Katie Swan withdraws from competition with hip injury

After sustaining an injury to her right hip, Katie Swan has decided to withdraw from the Progress Tour Women's Championships. Swan was leading by a set in her match against Alicia Barnett before she was forced to retire from the match. The injury will unfortunately prevent Swan from continuing in the competition meaning that Group Elena Baltacha in the Premier Singles division will be reduced to three players.

In her post match interview, Swan's opponent Barnett said: "It's unfortunate, I feel really sorry for Katie but I think it's maybe a bit too much, too soon for her."

Boulter cruises past Alice Gillan

Katie Boulter

Katie Boulter rounded out singles action against Alice Gillan 6-1 6-4. Gillan, who moved up into the Premier group gave a good account of herself in the second set, challenging the more experienced Boulter, with chances to break the Fed Cup player in the first set, and staying toe-to-toe with just a single break in it.

Boulter last played the pre-Indian Wells lower tier event before the tours were shut down but eased into match-play well. Like many, she used her time in lockdown to work on both physical and mental strength admitting that she is not one for sitting around watching the TV, volunteering at Age UK during lock-down, and more recently launching her #HitWithKatie initiative where someone has a chance to win a one-to-one coaching session with Boulter.

It was double the wins for Jodie Burrage and Freya Christie, who rounded out a successful day with a straight sets win over Annabel Davis and Sally Pethybridge.

Disappointment as Katie Swan retires injured in her opening match

Katie Swan, who took a wildcard to return from the US to join the Progress Tour Women’s Championships had to retire in her first-round match against Alicia Barnett 4-6 4-1 RETIRED.

Swan had been dictating play comfortably in the first set but found herself on the back foot early at the start of the second set, before calling for the doctor at 0-3. Looking to be struggling with her right hip, she continued for a while including a second chat with the doctor, but it was clear her movement was hampered handing Barnett a win, but certainly not in the way she would have liked.

Swan, who only returned a short time ago from the US was competing for the first time since March and was visibly upset as she left the court.

Court 1 concluded with the first doubles win of the day, with Emily Arbuthnott, partnering Anna Popescu, made up for her loss earlier in the day with a win over Amelia Bissett and Nell Miller, 6-3 7-6(1). Bissett was a replacement for Danielle Daley, who lost earlier in the day to Erin Richardson.

Esther Adeshina made up for her loss, teaming up with Sonay Kartel for a straight sets win over Soumeya Anane and Alannah Griffin, 7-6(2) 6-4.

Turnaround for Christie as she comes back in the deciding set to edge Lumsden

The second Premier match of the day at the Progress Tour Women’s Championships also did not disappoint with another tightly contested three-setter, with Freya Christie coming back in the deciding set to get the win over Maia Lumsden 6-3 2-6 6-3

The heavy ball-striking of Christie put her in the driving seat early on, with a break and although Lumsden was able to break back, Christie retook the advantage on the way to closing out the first set.

Lumsden, coming on off the strength of four straight wins on the British Tour last week, did well to come back after being immediately broken at the start of the second set, in a game beset by breaks. Christie’s only games were breaks of Lumsden’s serve, as she was broken for a fourth straight time for Lumsden to level the match.

This did nothing to deter Lumsden who reeled off the first three games in the decider but found herself quickly pegged back. From that point on Christie did not relent, breaking three times in a row to beat the Scottish No. 1.

Olivia Nicholls, who together with doubles partner this week Alicia Barnett were instrumental in helping being the Progress Tour Women’s Championships together, made short work of Victoria Allen, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-1.

A winning start for Burrage as she gets her campaign underway

The Progress Tour Women’s Championships continues with a win for Jodie-Anna Burrage in the Premier Division match against Emily Arbuthnott, getting Group Anne Keothavong underway.

In her 11th win in 12 matches since elite tennis resumed in the UK, Burrage had just a little too much for a free-swinging Emily Arbuthnott, who as capable of producing the goods on some tight breakpoints, at one stage forcing Burrage to finally convert a double-break cushion in the first set on her seventh attempt.

It proved to be a lot more clinical in the second set, needing just a single match point to seal her first win in the round-robin stages, 6-2 6-3.

Burrage spent her time in lockdown focussing on her fitness, and it paid off, but given her hectic schedule it was a much needed day off on Monday and admitted to perhaps a few nerves as well as making the transition from indoors to outdoors, where the points were a lot longer today.

Hill edges close encounter with Miller

There was a battle royal to start off Group Annabel Croft at the Progress Women’s Tour Championships with our first three-setter of the tournament, as Sasha Hill finally edged Nell Miller 6-4 4-6, 6-3.

Hill just slots in behind Amelia Bissett who was in commanding form earlier in the day with a 6-1 6-1 win over Esther Adeshina. It will be a busy day all round for the pair, as they are also both in doubles action later today, after suitable rest.

Impressive victory for Richardson in opener

Court 1 at the Progress Tour Women’s Championships was the place to be for comfortable wins so far on the first day of competition. Following on from Amelia Bissett’s convincing win over Esther Adeshina, Erin Richardson sped through her opening match in Division One Group Sam Smith, with a 6-2 6-1 win over Danielle Daley. Despite battling hard to get a game in the second set, errors put paid to Daley’s challenge, as both groups from Division One are now under-way.

Bissett takes first match on Day 1

The Progress Tour Women’s Championships got underway amidst some gloomy British clouds hovering with intent, but they could not dull the focus of Amelia Bissett who stormed into her opening win against Esther Adeshina, 6-1 6-1.

Bisset dropped two games as she opened the scoring in Division One Group Annabel Croft. Bissett started her season earlier this month on the British Tour and the match sharpness showed, as Adeshina last played in February, prior to lockdown.

Day 1 Order of Play

Premier singles 

Jodie Burrage vs Emily Arbuthnott (play starts at 11:00am)

Freya Christie vs Maia Lumsden

Alicia Barnett vs Katie Swan

Alice Gillan vs Katie Boulter

Division 1 singles

Esther Adeshina vs Amelia Bissett (play starts at 11:00am)

Nell Miller vs Sasha Hill (play starts at 11:00am)

Danielle Daley vs Erin Richardson 

Victoria Allen vs Olivia Nicholls 

Doubles

Arbuthnott/Popescu vs Daley/Miller

Adheshina/Kartal vs Anane/Griffin

Burrage/Christie vs Davis/Pethybridge

Barnett/Nicholls vs Allen/Hill

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