A Wet and Windy Day Makes for Challenging Conditions for British Tour Day 3

THERE was no fairy-tale finish to Dan Bennett’s singles week in the LTA British Tour event at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

The 23-year-old from Sunderland, who has overcome weight problems and health problems, won three matches in qualifying and dispatched fourth seed JB Pickard in the first round to make it eight successive sets taken.

However, on a grass court that had a cross-wind and had been softened by two days of rain, the Durham & Cleveland county player lost 6-3, 6-4 to 17-year-old Roan Jones from Shropshire.

“The wind was a complete leveller,” said the teenager who is native to Shrewsbury, “Every time you put pace on the ball it would go in a different direction.

“I just won more of the tight games. He only won one game where it went to deuce, and there were so many breaks of serve.

“On Wednesday it was difficult to break serve because he (Stefan Cooper) had a good serve, whereas here we were breaking all the time, but it is good to get through two rounds.”

Jones, who lives in Nottingham but trains in London, now faces Deji Thomas-Smith in a battle of unseeded players in the quarter-finals.

Top seed Sean Hodkin, who was taken to a champions’ tie-break for the second successive match, meets Alexander Maggs, who put out eighth seed Tommy Cartledge, in the other tie in the top half of the draw.

Second seed Joe Tyler, who squeezed past Robert Cowley 10-8 in a champions’ tie-break, faces qualifier Kyle Rae, while Ruairidh Fraser, who won a battle of 22-year-olds against Max Stewart, plays fifth seed Jordan Reed-Thomas.

In the women’s singles, a qualifier is guaranteed to reach the semi-finals as Halle Pringle meets Ava Williamson.

Top seed Esther Adeshina faces unseeded Ruby Hart, while third seed Isabelle Marshall plays Jojo Bach.

The winner of that quarter-final faces either eighth seed Jessica Hill or fourth seed Kira Reuter.

Hill defeated lucky loser Rebecca Heaps 10-8 in a champions’ tie-break, while Bach emerged from a 10-7 final-set tie-breaker against fifth seed Hannah Smith.