Rice leads the way as five Brits win at Graves

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Great Britain’s David Rice provided the biggest shock of the day at the AEGON GB Pro-Series tournament at Graves Tennis Centre yesterday.

Rice, from Watford, beat fifth seeded Michael Ryderstedt from Sweden (6-4 1-6 6-3) to move into the last 16 of the event, which has a total prize fund for $15,000. Rice told The Star: “I’m pleased with my performance, especially to get a win against a player who has been ranked in the top 150.”

Another Brit celebrating was Dan Evans. A recent run to the quarter-finals in Glasgow sees the Birmingham-based player in good form.

He said: “It’s good to win today. After a tough week in Glasgow. It was great to get off to a winning start here in Sheffield.”

Alex Ward, George Morgan and Richard Bloomfield made it a quintet of home-grown players through to the last 16.

Northampton’s Ward overcame Tiago Fernandes 6-3 6-3. Morgan, from Bolton, beat French player Josselin Ouanna (6-4 7-5) and Norwich’s Bloomfield came through an all British match with Lewis Burton (6-4 7-6(5)) to set up a meeting with Ward.

Top seed Jerzy Janowicz of Poland was made to work hard by Ireland’s James McGee before finally coming through in three sets (6-1 3-6 7-5) in more than two hours of action.

Play starts today at Graves at 10.30am.