Brits prosper at Graves as Rice sets up showdown with top seed

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DAVID Rice continued his excellent form yesterday at the AEGON GB Pro-Series tournament at Graves Tennis Centre as he moved seamlessly into the quarter-finals.

After beating the fifth seeded Michael Ryderstedt on Monday, Rice from Watford, had no trouble in seeing off Dutch qualifier Kevin Griekspoor in straight sets (6-2 7-5) to set up a meeting with top seed Jerzy Janowicz today.

Poland’s Janowicz overcame Bolton’s George Morgan (6-4 6-0) in ominous fashion as he dropped only one point on his first serve in the opening set and was forced to use his second serve just once. He then breezed through the second set to look every inch the pre-tournament favourite.

There was success for Birmingham-based Dan Evans who shook off being whitewashed in the first set to eventually beat the Czech Republic’s Jan Minar (0-6 6-4 7-5). And in the all British clash it was eighth seeded Alex Ward of Northampton who triumphed over Richard Bloomfield from Norwich (6-3 6-2) to reach the last eight.

Britain is well represented in the semi-finals of the doubles too. Top-seeded pair Rice and partner Sean Thornley will play French duo Simon Cauvard and Olivier Charroin.

While Lewis Burton and Evans will try and shock second seeds Chris Eaton and Dominic Inglot.

The action today starts at Graves at 10.30am with Rice and Ward on court first. The doubles matches start no earlier than 2pm. Admission for spectators is free.

There’s a total prize fund of $15,000 for the tournament with the winner receiving approximately $1,250.