Is it just me, or has 2019 felt like an ‘almost’ year for British tennis? Whether it’s Jo Konta at the Grand Slams, or Dan Evans and Cam Norrie just missing out on maiden ATP titles, we have had lots of promise but no final execution from our favourite stars.
This week was no different. We had lots of promise, and that shouldn’t be taken away, but it ultimately ended with the Brits falling just short of glory. Here’s a round-up of the week that was.
Norrie’s Atlanta Open run ends in the semis
Cameron Norrie’s good run at the Atlanta Open ended in a three-set defeat to second seed Taylor Fritz.
The American, who will go on to meet Alex de Minaur in the final, won 6-1 3-6 6-3 in exactly 100 minutes. Norrie rarely threatened the American’s serve, and apart from a second set revival, didn’t look like beating the 21 year-old.
Despite the result, this week has seen Norrie continue to progress. He is now consistently defeating players in and around his ranking, or perceived level, and is putting good runs together at ATP 250 tournaments. It also further cements his place as British number two, and although he is behind Dan Evans in the Singles Race, Norrie is still consistently performing at this stage, and should overtake Kyle Edmund before the year is over.Embed from Getty Images
Norrie now travels to Mexico to compete in the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos, where he will face Frenchman Gregoire Barrere in the opening round. It’s a smart move for Norrie, who could’ve entered the ATP 500 event in Washington. Yet, with a relatively weak field in Mexico, where the seeded players in Norrie’s half of the draw are Mikhail Kukushkin, Diego Schwartzman, Cristian Garin and Guido Pella, the Brit should see an opportunity open to have another successful run.
Katie Swan falls to Ellen Perez
Another British player who is quietly going about her business in the US is Katie Swan, who has endured a frustrating season as she looks to build on a fantastic 2018.
Swan fell just short at the W60 event in Ashfield, losing to Australian Perez 6-7 6-0 3-6 in over two hours at the semi-final stage. The Brit held set point in the opening tie break, but was unable to serve it out and, despite taking back control in the second set, was unable to break down her opponent in the third.
The run will be a welcome relief for Swan, who came into the tournament on the back of a disappointing performance in Berkeley. Among her noticeable victories en route to the semi-finals were Magdalena Frech and Ann Li, both of whom who started the tournament above Katie in the rankings.
The run will help Swan climb back up the rankings board, and give her confidence going into the next W60 event, this time in Lexington. The field in Lexington is considerably weaker, and if Swan can carry this form into the tournament, should be a contender for what would be her first title of the year.
Image: Peter Menzel