Josh Sapwell from Flitwick, Bedfordshire continues to carry the flag for Britain's juniors in his final year before the equivalent of tennis graduation. At 18 he is ready to join the Futures tour but yesterday prolonged his stay at Wimbledon by beating Peru's Pedro Iamachkine 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarter-final of the boys' singles.
A good striker of the ball, he finished the match emphatically with one of several aces and now faces Johan Sebastien Tatlot, the eighth seed from France. Sapwell, who has already knocked out the third seed, is at the Gosling Academy in Hertfordshire, one of four high performances centres in the UK accredited by the Lawn Tennis Association.
Their director of tennis Matt Willcocks said after his latest success: "He's worked really hard and this is a significant week for him. And in terms of encouraging the others, he's a real ray of sunshine."
It was the end of the road, however, for the three British girls in the singles event.
Katie Boulter from Leicestershire found herself beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Tornado Alicia Black, an interesting American, as her name implies. Together with her younger sister Hurricane, she has been given the unwanted but inevitable tag of the new Williams sisters, saying of her parents: "They wanted us to be tennis stars so they picked storm names. I used to hate it because a lot of kids made fun of me, but now I’m getting used to it."
Plain Gabriella Taylor from Southampton lost 7-6, 6-4 to Spain's Paula Badosa Gibert and Glaswegian Maia Lumsden, who had earlier knocked out the second seed, went down 6-2, 6-1 to Michaela Gordon of the United States.
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