Britain's got talents on the courts (at last)

Five new names enter world's top 100, but search for next Murray goes on

Britain's men may be facing a future in the wilderness of the Davis Cup's Europe Africa Zone Group Two, but the Lawn Tennis Association will be heartened by the progress of home players in the world rankings. In recent times there have been only four Britons in the game's top 100 lists, but five more joined them yesterday after their results last week.

If the best performance was that of Ken Skupski and Colin Fleming, who won their first ATP title in Metz to climb to No 76 and No 79 respectively in the doubles rankings, the achievements of Elena Baltacha and Katie O'Brien were just as admirable. The British women broke into the world's top 100 singles ranking list for the first time, Baltacha reaching No 93 and O'Brien No 98 after the former beat the latter in the final of the Aegon Pro-Series tournament in Shrewsbury.

Jamie Murray completed the British top 100 club, climbing back to No 97 in the doubles rankings after winning a Challenger tournament in Slovenia. The five latest arrivals join Andy Murray (No 3 in singles), Anne Keothavong (No 77 in singles), Ross Hutchins (No 43 in doubles) and Sarah Borwell (No 76 in doubles) in the game's top flight.

Nevertheless, the ongoing failure of the country's male singles players – with the notable exception of Andy Murray – to make a significant mark on the rankings remains an embarrassment. James Ward, the world No 187, is the only other British man in the top 200.

It is a different picture in doubles. Although Hutchins is having a mediocre run, with only three wins in his last 20 matches, 26-year-old Skupski and 25-year-old Fleming are gaining strength. They have been late developers, Skupski having spent four years at Louisiana State University and Fleming having studied economics and finance at Stirling University. Both graduated in 2007, though Fleming then spent the best part of a year working for Scottish Power before deciding to play tennis full-time.

Since joining forces 11 months ago, the pair have reached 13 finals at Challenger or Futures events, winning eight of them, although their most notable single victory came at the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in June over the Bryan brothers, the world's top-ranked pair. Sunday's final at the Moselle Open in Metz, where they beat the highly rated Frenchmen Arnaud Clément and Michael Llodra, was their first at an ATP-level event.

Jamie Murray, Wimbledon mixed doubles champion in 2007 and world No 27 in doubles as recently as February, has had a difficult year. Having parted company with the hugely experienced Max Mirnyi, he did not last long with Dusan Vemic, his intended partner for this year, and his ranking quickly fell away.

After little success with a variety of partners, Murray has spent most of the summer playing Challenger events with his fellow Briton, Jamie Delgado. They have won tournaments in Italy and Slovenia, with Murray also joining forces with Jonathan Marray to win a title in the Netherlands.

New world order? Britons in the top 100

*Great Britain has nine players currently ranked in the top 100 of their discipines:


Andy Murray (singles, No 3)

Ross Hutchins (doubles, 43)

Ken Skupski (doubles, 76)

Colin Fleming (doubles, 79)

Jamie Murray (doubles, 97)


Anne Keothavong (singles, 77)

Sarah Borwell (doubles, 79)

Elena Baltacha (singles, 93)

Katie O'Brien (singles, 98)

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are