Keeping up with the Brits: 17 January, 2022
• 4 MINUTE READ
Talk about a busy week for Britain’s tennis stars – it’s been all go Down Under as well as closer to home, in Italy and Bath. Get the latest on the key highlights from a week of four titles and eight British runners-up.
What happened in British tennis last week?
Andy Murray’s return to the top of the game took another significant step forward last week as he finished runner-up at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Wins over World No.23 Nikoloz Basilashvili, David Goffin and Reilly Opelka propelled the former World No.1 into his 69th career ATP final and his first since 2019.
In the final he faced top seed Aslan Karatsev – who beat Dan Evans in a close three-set semi-final. Karatsev saved his best performance of the week for the final and despite a gutsy fight from Murray, the Russian claimed the title 6-3, 6-3.
It’s two titles in two weeks for Neal Skupski and his new men’s doubles partner, Wesley Koolhof, as they finished the week as champions in Adelaide.
Still undefeated as a pair, the British, Dutch duo didn’t lose a set as they stormed on to victory in their last preparations for the Australian Open this week.
After comfortably defeating second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the semi-finals, they faced their toughest challenge in the final against Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar. After edging the opening tie-break Skupski and Koolhof took control, winning the match 7-6(5), 6-4.
20-year-old Jack Draper won his first career ATP Challenger title in Italy this week, in a tournament dominated by British stars including Jay Clarke, Paul Jubb and Aidan McHugh.
Draper put in a series of commanding wins in the opening rounds – including a 6-0, 6-1 demolition against World No.296 Luca Nardi – before beating Zsombor Piros in the semi-finals.
Draper faced fellow Brit Clarke in the final in only the fifth all-British clash in the final of a Challenger event.
Third seed Clarke also impressed throughout the competition and came into the final having already beaten another countryman, Jubb, in the quarter-finals.
But there could only be one winner and on the day, Draper showed that extra quality, dropping only three games en route to a 6-3, 6-0 final victory.
Harriet Dart and Liam Broady both came through qualifiers for the 2022 Australian Open last week. Dart – who reached the main draw for the third time in four years – beat Australia’s Kimberly Birrell in her final match 6-3, 6-3.
Broady progressed to his first Australian Open main draw with an inspired comeback against Roman Safiullin. The Brit was a set an 5-3 down before turning the match on its head to win 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.
In an action-packed week in Bath, Britain’s Dan Cox and Sweden’s Caijsa Wilde Hennemann finished as champions of the M25 and W25 ITF singles events.
Cox lifted his 17th career ITF title after ending Charles Broom’s 17-match unbeaten run (singles and doubles) with a 6-4, 7-6(5) win in the final.
Sixth seed Hannemann, beat Eliz Maloney in the final 6-1, 7-5. It brought an end to a fantastic week for Britain’s Maloney, who hadn’t won a W25 match prior to Bath.
Hannemann also ended the event as the women’s doubles champion as well, partnering with Elena Maylygina to beat Emily Webley-Smith and Arina Garbiela Vailescu 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
In the men’s doubles, Broom and fellow Brit Alastair Gray won their first title of the year, defeating top seeds Luke Johnson and Guy Den Ouden 6-2, 6-2.
Building up to the Australian Open, Gordon Reid started his season at the Victorian Open where he reached the men's singles final. Reid finished the event as runner-up after a tough challenge against World No.1 Shingo Kunieda.
Lucy Shuker and Japan's Manami Tanaka also came runners-up in the women's doubles.
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What’s happening in British tennis this week?
There are 27 British stars competing Down Under at the Australian Open this week, including singles, doubles, junior and wheelchair players. Emma Raducanu, Dan Evans and Andy Murray all get underway on Tuesday alongside the rest of the singles stars, with the other draws set to start later this week. Find out which British players are competing and follow their results here.
Last week’s finalists Jack Draper and Jay Clarke are back in the main draw in Forli this week. Draper will face a qualifier on Tuesday while Clarke has drawn a tricky opening round match against fifth seed Gregoire Barrere.