Daniel Bennett sights set on first pro test

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WEARSIDER Daniel Bennett is hoping to qualify for his first professional tournament next week – in the Aegon GB Pro-Series on home territory at the Sunderland Tennis Centre.

The 15-year-old prospect, from Grangetown, is no stranger to the Silksworth complex – he started playing tennis there – and will be keen to make the tournament proper.

Bennett is joined in the qualifying competition by Newcastle’s John Thompson and Sam Archer.

Cheshire’s Ashley Hewitt, the British No.9, hopes to add to the title he won in Newcastle in May, though he faces tough opposition from Surrey’s Tom Farquharson, twice a runner-up this year.

Marcus Daniell, from New Zealand, leads the overseas challenge.

The action starts at 10am on Sunday, continuing through to Thursday, with 10.30am starts next Friday and Saturday.

Admission is free to all spectators.

H Novak Djokovic survived a scare before clinging onto his world number one ranking with a three-set 7-5 2-6 6-2 victory over Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the China Open. Djokovic would have ceded top position to Rafael Nadal in the event of a defeat – and will still drop to second if the Spaniard goes on to reach the Beijing final, irrespective of his own performance.