By Glenys Furness

  • Francesca Jones claims back to back titles in Minsk
  • Brit defeated two seeds en route to the trophy
MINSK, BELARUS – Francesca Jones entered the second ITF event in Minsk, having won the title the week before. The Brit took out two seeds on her way to the title.


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Brit of the Week

Francesca Jones remained in Minsk following the title won last week. Once again the young Brit was unseeded in the draw. In the first round Jones took on Belorussian  Shalimar Talbi. The Brit and Belarusian went toe to toe in the first set, which ultimately ended in a tiebreak. Jones dominated the breaker and moved ahead. Talbi re-grouped in the second set and levelled up by breaking Jones twice. In the final set the Brit once again forced a tiebreak and edged the win 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(5).

The second round saw the young Brit take on Ekaterina Makarova. The Russian struggled at times with Jones game, and it was the Brit who broke in each set. No matter what Makarova tried, the Russian was unable to break back and Jones progressed through in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

In the quarter-final Jones came across seventh seed Mirjam Bjorklund. The Swede although higher ranked had nothing to throw at the young Brit. Jones had little difficulty in progressing passed the seeded player. The young Brit dominated both sets to move into the semi-final 6-3, 6-2.

The semi-final saw the Brit facing Belarusian Iryna Shymanovich. The first two sets were tight, with the vital break of serve coming at the end of each. Both players now only needed one set to reach the final. It was Jones who wanted it more, breaking Shymanovich fairly early in the set to progress 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.

In the final Jones was against the second seed Jaqueline Cristian. The Romanian stayed toe to toe with the Brit in the first set, forcing a tiebreak. The Brit edged the tiebreak and took the lead. Cristian re-grouped in the second set breaking Jones and levelled up the match. The final set saw the young Brit completely dominate the Romanian and lift the title 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-1.

Honourable Mention

After winning the title last week in Surbiton Dan Evans was awarded a wildcard to the ATP Challenger in Nottingham. Evans was also as a result the top seed and received a bye into the second round. The opponent in the second round was Brit Jack Draper, who had also received a wildcard in to the event. Draper started better and broke Evans in the first set and took the lead. However, Evans was having non of that and only lost a further two games to move into the next round 5-7, 6-0, 6-2.

The third round saw Evans up against 15th seed Mikael Ymer. The Swede could not handle Evans in the first set, and the Brit dominated to take the led. However, Ymer fought back in the second and levelled up the match by breaking Evans twice. The final set was very tight, but it was the top seed who came through 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

In the quarter-final the Brit was up against Dominik Koepfer. The German was the toughest match so far for Evans, with the first two sets going to tiebreaks. Evans edged the first and Koepfer the second. The final set saw the top seed break the German and move into the semi-final 7-6(6), 6-7(6), 6-4.

The semi-final was delayed due to rain, when it went ahead the top seed was against Go Soeda. The Japanese was unseeded, and it was Evans who made light work of Soeda. Losing a total of six games the Brit dominated the semi-final in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

In the final, which took place a few hours after the semi-final, Evans was against the 13th seed Evgeny Donskoy. The Russian had also played his semi-final earlier in the day, both players went toe to toe in the first set. Neither player broke serve and a tiebreak followed. Evans had little difficulty in the breaker and needed only one more set to lift the trophy. The second set was little more than a stroll for the Brit who took the title 7-6(3), 6-3.


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Challenger & ITF Round Up

David Fox was defeated by Oliver Crawford in the first round in USA 6-3, 6-1.

Mark Whitehouse was defeated by Sumit Sarkar in the second round in USA 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-2.

Jack Oswald was defeated by Lior Goldenberg in the first round in Israel 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Isaac Stoute was defeated by Alejandro Mendoza in the first round in Mexico 6-4, 6-4.

Emilie Lindh was defeated by Solymar Colling in the second round in Mexico 0-0 RET.

Jonathan Gray was defeated by Aidan McHugh in the final in Singapore 6-2, 6-2.

Toby Martin was defeated by Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the quarter-final in Tunisia 7-6(4), 6-2.

Katy Dunne was defeated by Whitney Osuigwe in the first round in Manchester 2-1 RET.

Alicia Barnett was defeated by Marie Bouzková in the first round in Manchester 6-3, 6-1.

Emily Webley-Smith was defeated by Katherine Sebov in the first round in Manchester 6-1, 6-3.

Gabriella Taylor was defeated by Naomi Broady in the second round in Manchester 6-2, 6-4.

Naomi Broady was defeated by Samantha Murray in the quarter-final in Manchester 7-6(4), 6-2.

Samantha Murray was defeated by Magda Linette in the semi-final in Manchester 6-3, 6-0.

Amanda Carreras was defeated by Elitsa Kostova in the semi-final in Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.

Ali Collins was defeated by Almudena Sanz-Llaneza Fernandez in the first round in Portugal   6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5.

Next Week Brits play in London, Ilkley, USA, Israel, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Birmingham, Sweden, Portugal & Spain.

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