LTA British Tour Day Two

TEENAGER Scott Hillerby has been beaten in the final qualifying round of the men’s singles in the LTA British Tour event at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club. 

Hillerby, who recently helped the host club win the Boys’ 18 & Under National Club Championship at Roehampton, fell 6-4, 6-4 to fellow 16-year-old Andy Brisdon from Cheshire. 

After his defeat, Hillerby, who is a member at David Lloyd Leeds in Moortown, said: “I learnt that I can keep up with some of the better players but that I need to get the first strike in, take more risks.” 

The ninth game of the first set was particularly frustrating for Hillerby on No 2 Court – used for County Week last week but still playing well – as he had three opportunities to break back but could not take any of them. 

“Go for it. You have to,” Hillerby, who has yet to fill out his frame, berated himself at the time. 

After his loss, he said: “I was a bit passive, but that is because I am used to playing junior matches and waiting for opponents to make mistakes.” 

Hillerby hopes to play more tennis in the future but in the meantime he is readying himself for A-Level studies – possibly in maths, chemistry and biology at Allerton Grange School in Leeds. 

Hillerby finished his match on grass before a late-afternoon thunderstorm struck, but one Yorkshireman who did make it through later was Barney Fitzpatrick, whose dad Nick now coaches at Thongsbridge Lawn Tennis Club, near Huddersfield. 

Fitzpatrick, 19, whose dad was a player performance coach at Ilkley for 10 years, defeated Surrey’s Harry Rock in a full-blooded encounter 5-7, 7-5 (10-5). 

The teenager’s reward is a first-round match in today’s main draw against fellow qualifier Kyle Rae, who last week partnered Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League all-rounder Charlie Swallow to help Northamptonshire to promotion in Men’s Group Three of County Week at Ilkley. 

All-rounder Swallow now plays for Collingham & Linton, but used to play for Ben Rhydding and Horsforth. 

Ilkley member JB Pickard is fourth seed in the main draw and has drawn Ilkley regular Dan Bennett from Sunderland, who qualified when opponent Jonah Gethin, seeded seventh in qualifying, pulled out injured when trailing 6-3, 4-2. 

Brisdon, Rae, Fitzpatrick and Bennett apart, the other four qualifiers were Ruairidh Fraser, Alexsandar Andic, Frederick Withers and alternate Kyle McKay. 

Andic and Withers meet in the first round, while Alex Atkinson and Daniel Bird have got into the main draw as lucky losers. 

The top seeds are Sean Hodkin, world ranked 1285, and Joe Tyler (1747), both of whom were awarded wild cards, while other wild cards have been given to Anthony Weingarten and Roy Keegan. 

Meanwhile, Sheffield duo Eleanore Lake and Sarah Copley both notched first-round victories in qualifying for the women’s singles. 

Lake, 19, and a member at Hallam Grange, beat Arianna Hutchings, 16, from Ealing, 6-1, 6-1, while 14-year-old Copley, from Graves, defeated fellow Yorkshire player Isabella Gibson, who retired injured at 3-3 in the first set. 

The final round of qualifying for the women’s singles takes place today, while the main draw in both men’s and women’s singles gets underway.