Tuesday will see the opening day of the inaugural Battle of the Brits, where Britain’s top 8 male players will fight to be crowned best Brit. Here’s a preview of next week’s tournament and what to look out for.
The inaugural Battle of the Brits is set to begin June 23rd with Britain’s top players will battle for the title of the best British tennis player. From Andy Murray to Kyle Edmund, the tournament will showcase the very best players from the area.
Tim Henman Group
What is certain is that Andy Murray will do everything in his power to prevail as the group’s winner. Broady will want to mess up the 3-time grand slam champion’s rhythm, especially after the two have been dishing out trash talk to one another during the past couple of weeks. James Ward has never played Murray before. That matchup will be massively in favor of Murray.
Andy Murray on Liam Broady in an Instagram comment, “He’s talked a lot.. can he walk the walk? He will be going into match 1 the slight favourite as he has many different factors on his side”
Murray vs Edmund is the match to look forward to in this group. They have split wins in their last two meetings, setting up an enticing encounter this week.
Greg Rusedski Group
Evans is the favourite going into the Rusedski group. At a career-high ranking of #28 in the world, Evans was in the greatest form of his life before the ATP suspended all events in March. If Evans can continue this form, it is hard to see him losing in this group.
Draper vs Norrie is an exciting match up. Both left-handers, they will likely go toe-to-toe in a match full of baseline rallies. It will be a real test for young gun Draper against a player of Norrie’s caliber.
The Doubles Event
Paul Hutchins Group
- “The Swingers” – Liam Broady and Cam Norrie
Both left-handers, Broady and Norrie pose quite a threat on the doubles court. Left-handed doubles pairings are notoriously tricky opponents. They can get returners way off the court with wide serves and they make the server have to think more about where to aim the serve.
- “Peaky Blinders” – Dan Evans and Lloyd Glasspool
The famous Peaky Blinders Netflix series, set in Birmingham, UK is also home to both Evans and Glasspool. Evans is known for his craftiness when it comes to tennis, which can come in handy in doubles. Glasspool is no stranger to a doubles court either having won an NCAA doubles championship in 2015 when he attended the University of Texas.
This nickname has to have come about from the duo’s heroic efforts at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid last November. Having sealed the win for GB in a tie-deciding match against the Netherlands, Murray and Skupski fought their hearts out against a Spanish pairing of Nadal and Feliciano Lopez before losing in two tiebreak sets.
Murray and Skupski are the only real accomplished pairing in this group. Although Evans and Glasspool have teamed up before, they have predominantly competed on the challenger circuit together. “The Swingers” will hold their own, but it is difficult to see them posing as too tough a challenge for “Team Soul”.
Cathie Sabin Group
- “The Fearhands” – Kyle Edmund and Jack Draper
The two players with mighty weapons on the forehand side. For any opponent of Edmund or Draper, the forehand is something to be fearful of. Edmund’s is known all too well on the tour, unlike Draper’s which has yet to be shown on the world stage. It is only a matter of time. How these two singles players match up on a doubles court together will be intriguing to see.
- “The 100 Percenters” – Dom Inglot and Jay Clarke
Not a bad nickname to be assigned to – Inglot and Clarke are known for their ‘all in’ attitude. Whenever watching these two, you can bet on them giving their best efforts.
A nickname that says it all about this pairing’s game style. In Salisbury’s Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in January, he displayed an ‘all-out’ game style, with the mindset to go for every shot and not hold back. O’Mara has an extremely aggressive playing style too, which is so important to achieve any success in today’s doubles game.
Inglot and Clarke will no doubt be within for a chance, given their energy and attitude which is such a huge part to doubles. “The Fearhands” have the potential to come out all guns blazing, which could cause an upset or two, however, my bets are safely placed with Salisbury and O’Mara as the group winners. Both doubles specialists, with the former having a Grand Slam trophy to add to his wealth of experience.
The Battle of the Brits will be played behind closed doors on the indoor hard courts of the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. Amazon Prime Video is set to showcase all of the matches.
Be on the lookout for recaps and analyses throughout the Battle of the Brits right here on Lob and Smash.