By Glenys Furness
- James Ward and Heather Watson out of Cincinnati
- Kyle Edmund pushes hard in Aptos
- Dan Evans with a big qualifying win and Katy Dunne wins title
It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Brits in qualifying rounds of Cincinnati, Vancouver and tournaments in Chiswick and Aptos.
Starting with the qualifying rounds of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Although James Ward had received a qualifying spot as an alternate, his draw was not a good one though. In the first round he was to meet Alexandr Dolgopolov who is a tricky opponent depending on which version comes out to play.
Unfortunately for Ward, the Ukrainian came out with intent. Ward played well though and was staying with the World No. 69 for most of the match. In fact, although the Brit was unable to get any break points on the Ukrainian serve, Ward saved a total of 5 break points on his own game. He was broken only twice n the match, once in each set to go out with a good fight 4-6, 4-6 against the higher ranked and seeded qualifier.
Heather Watson was also trying to qualify for Cincinnati, the British number one was seeded 17th. Her opponent was Timea Babos from Hungary. This was a bit of a tussle between the pair with breaks of serve being exchanged towards the end, almost as though neither woman wanted to hold serve. In the end the Hungarian player was just that little bit better and came away with the win 2-6, 6-1, 3-6.
Over on the challenger tour and Kyle Edmund was in the semi-final of The Comercia Bank Challenger in Aptos. Seeded number three, he faced the top seed Australian John Millman. Edmund got off to the perfect start and raced out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but the Australian was not going down without a fight and pulled back a couple of games, before the Brit served it out 6-3. The top seed then took a break in the second set and the match was level 4-6. The final set was a very tight affair with both players holding serve until the Australian managed to earn a break late on in the set to get the win 5-7.
In the Odlum Brown Van Open in Vancouver Dan Evans was in his first challenger qualifying tournament for a while, after being out due to injury his ranking has dropped to 414th. He was facing Australian Luke Saville the fifth seed, Evans is working hard again trying to get back up the rankings and into the main draws, this is great to see as the Brit (along with Ward) was instrumental in the rise of the British team to the dizzy heights of the World group in the Davis Cup. Evans and Saville were exchanging breaks in the first set, with the Brit coming out on top 7-5. In the second set Evans only needed two break points to secure the set easily and score the big win 6-2.
In the ITF tournament in Chiswick ($10k) there was an all British affair in the final. Top seed Katy Dunne was playing unseeded Emily Arbuthnott. Dunne had not dropped a set on the way to the final, Arbuthnott had only dropped one. The top seed proved too strong for Arbuthnott, with breaks of serve to seal each set at 6-3, 6-3 to win the title here. The 20-year-old is proving to be one to watch and a hope for the future of British Tennis, along with Watson and Laura Robson.
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