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Jamie Malik out, but Katie Boulter leads the British juniors

Jamie Malik in the Junior event
by Helen Gilbert
Monday 30 June 2014

On a day beset by rain, the British junior players had a mixed bag of results. 

Last week Andy Murray described junior tennis as ‘very important’. “That's where you learn how to play matches.  You learn how to construct points.  You learn your technique,” he told reporters.

According to the world No.5 and defending Wimbledon men’s singles champion, the junior circuit is where the younger players learn whether or not they have the mettle to compete on the tour in terms of how well they travel and whether they can cope with being away from home.

“It's also an important time to look after your body, too,” he said. “If you do a lot of growing in those years, 14, 15, 16, as well, you need to try and avoid injuries as much as you can and get all your training right and stuff. It's a very important part of a tennis player's career and development. I do think about those days sometimes. Not so much, but occasionally.”

His fellow Britons in the junior event may do well to heed his words. On Monday eight were scheduled to play, however persistent rain meant only five were able to finish. 

Katie Boulter flew the flag for Britain with an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over No.13 seed Australian Priscilla Hon in the girls’ singles. The 17-year-old from Leicester, who along with partner Katy Dunne won through two rounds of the ladies doubles qualifying event before falling to Ukrainian tops seeds, Lyudmyla Kichenok  and Nadiia Kichenok looked comfortable on the turf against her Brisbane-born opponent. She struck nine aces on her way to victory in the 51 minute contest.

However, her compatriots fared less well. Harriet Dart’s hopes of progressing past the first round were extinguished by No.9-seeded Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina. The 17-year-old put up a sterling fight against the world No.48 before being toppled 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3. 

Despite a strong start, 16-year-old Freya Christie also fell in her first round tussle against No.12 seed Marketa Vondrousova. The world No.83 forced a first set tie-break but eventually succumbed 7-6 (5), 6-2. 

After losing the first set, Jodie Anna Burrage looked as though she might stage a comeback in the sixth game of the second set against Turkey’s Ipek Soylu when she found herself in possession of break points but the 15-year-old was unable to convert. She was defeated 6-4, 6-3 after double faulting on match point.

In the boys’ singles Jamie Malik was sent packing by Noah Rubin. The 17-year-old hit far too many unforced errors – 20 to the American’s 12 and fewer winners – 15 as opposed to 21 – resulting in a 6-2, 6-4 defeat.

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