By Glenys Furness
- George Houghton & Lauryn John-Baptiste claimed week 8
- Exciting finals settled by tiebreaks
ALDERSHOT, UK – George Houghton & Lauryn John-Baptiste claimed the week 8 titles. First title of the series for both players.
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Week 8 of the UK Pro League kicked off in the Aldershot Tennis Centre. George Houghton began his campaign on Tuesday. The 22 year old was up against Oscar Weightman. In an exciting opening match neither player wanted to give an inch. Houghton and Weightman were unable to break serve, so each set was settled with a tiebreak. The 22 year old took the first, with Weightman levelling up taking the second. The match tiebreak would decide the victor. The deciding breaker was very tense, eventually though it was Houghton that secured the break and took the win 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 10-7.
Houghton played again on Wednesday drawn against James Mackinlay. The 22 year old dominated the first set, as Mackinlay struggled to hold serve. However, in the second set the 21 year old Brit tried hard to fight back. Holding serve more, unfortunately, it was Houghton that secured the vital break of serve to move on with a straight sets win 6-2, 6-4.
Thursday saw the 22 year old up against David Quayle. The first set was a very close affair. Houghton and Quayle went toe to toe and a tiebreak ensued. The 22 year old Brit edged the breaker to take the lead. In the second set Quayle managed to break serve and level up the match. In the ensuring match tiebreak, both players fought hard to take the win. Ultimately Houghton edged the win to move on with a 100% record 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-8.
In the semi-final Houghton was against Scott Duncan. The 22 year old Brit broke the serve of Duncan and took the lead. The 27 year old tried to fight back in the second and took Houghton to a tiebreak. However, no matter what Duncan tried in the breaker, Houghton was equal to it. The younger Brit eased through the breaker and into the final 6-3, 7-6(3).
The final saw Houghton against Dan Cox. The 31 year old showed his experience in the first set, forcing Houghton into a tie break. The older Brit eased through the breaker and into the lead. Houghton fought hard in the second set and broke Cox to level the match up. In a thrilling match tiebreak, both players tried to get ahead. Eventually it was the younger Brit who secured the mini break and took the title 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-8.
On the ladies side of the event Lauryn John-Baptiste kicked off the week against Katy Dunne. The young Brit found the experience of Dunne a little over bearing. John-Baptiste struggled to hold serve as Dunne dominated. The older Brit soon had the better of John-Baptiste and took the match 1-6, 2-6.
As this is a round robin format John-Baptiste faced Maddie Brooks on Tuesday. The 32 year old tried to stay with the younger Brit. However, John-Baptiste secured the break of serve needed in the first set and took the lead. The second saw the younger Brit dominate as Brooks was unable to stop John-Baptiste from breaking to take the match 6-3, 6-2.
Thursday saw John-Baptiste face Slovakian Katie Stresnakova. The 23 year old got the jump on the Brit in the first set, breaking at will. John-Baptiste struggled to get on top of the Slovakian and the set was gone. The second set, however, was much closer. The Brit worked out the plan of Stresnakova and forced a tiebreak, which she edged to level up the match. The ensuing match tiebreak was a tense affair. Eventually though the Brit secured the break to move through 1-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.
In the semi-final John-Baptiste was against Emily Appleton. The 22 year old Brit dominated the first set as Appleton struggled with serve. The second set however, was much closer. Appleton managed to get a break of serve and level up the match. The ensuing match tiebreak was very tight, however John-Baptiste edged through to book a spot in the final 6-1, 5-7, 13-11.
The final was a rematch of the first round with John-Baptiste again facing Dunne. However, the young Brit had grown in confidence by this point. Although Dunne secured a break of serve to take the first set, the younger Brit was determined to right the ship. John-Baptiste managed to break Dunne in the second set and level up the match. The match tiebreak was a thrilling affair. John-Baptiste dominated to take the title at the first time of asking 3-6, 6-3, 10-3.
Nadia Rawson defeated Emily Appleton to claim third place 0-0 (RET).
Scott Duncan defeated Vijay Prashanth to claim third place 6-1, 6-4.
Katie Stresnakova defeated Emma Wilson to claim fifth place 6-1, 7-5.
Ewan Moore defeated Liam Hignett to claim fifth place 6-1, 7-5.
Holly Hutchinson defeated Freya Davies to claim seventh place 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
Derrick Chen defeated Oscar Weightman to claim seventh place 6-4, 6-4.
The UK Pro League returns 25th October in Bisham.
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