Bolton | Lapthorne and Shuker race to victory
© Anna Vasalaki
Andy Lapthorne and Lucy Shuker were among a host of Brits to triumph on day two of the 2018 Bolton Indoor tournament.
And they both did it in straight sets.
Lapthorne got the morning off to a great start by defeating Sweden’s Anders Hard 6-1, 6-3, booking his spot in the semi-finals of the quads division main draw in the process.
After he’d finished on court we were then treated to some more world-class tennis in an all-Brit women’s round 16 match between Shuker and Louise Hunt.
The British number one coming out on top against Hunt 6-0, 6-1.
There was no denying both players had the X-factor on court and entertained us with some rousing rallies and terrific trading
Elsewhere in the main draws Brits John Lambert and Alexander Jewitt raced to straight sets victories in the men’s second draw.
And James Shaw, Richard Green, Lauren Jones, Fran Smith, Caroline Macdonald, Cornelia Oosthuizen and Nathaniel Lowe-Cordingley all tasted success in their consolation draws.
But it wasn’t to be today for Antony Cotterill, James Ascroft, Ben Johnson-Rolfe, Keith Thom, Fay Dutfield-Horton, Helen Bond, Debbie Brazier and Gary Cox.
© Anna Vasalaki
Lapthorne heads into two semi-finals
With his forehand on fire from pretty much the get go you could see that Lapthorne was on a mission, a mission to make the quad singles semi-finals.
He raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and whilst there was potential for Hard to stop the British number one consolidating his early break as that final game before the the second change of ends went to deuce a number of times, Lapthorne dealt with the pressure well and served out the third game.
He continued to dominate for the rest of opening set and took it 6-1.
The start of the second set was a more competitive affair, Hard, who is player you can never take for granted being a set up against, taking the lead for the first time in the match 2-1, and then 3-2.
But then Andy turned his game up another gear and went on a four game run to close out the second set and the match, progressing through to the semis without dropping a set throughout his whole campaign so far.
Later in the day he was back on court with fellow Brit Antony Cotterill to bid for a place in the quad doubles semi-final.
The successful British partnership, who have previously been crowned doubles Masters champions together, came out on top against fellow Brit James Shaw and for the second time today for Lapthorne, Anders Hard 6-0, 6-3.
Gary Cox and Richard Green also ensured even more British success with their 6-3, 6-0 win over Petter Edstrom and Andrea Silvestrone, meaning that out of the five Brits who featured in the first day of quads doubles competition, four made it through to the semi-finals.
© Anna Vasalaki
Shuker looking strong as she heads into the quarters
The last time we saw Shuker on the singles court she was putting on an impressive display in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
Whilst that match didn’t go her way, today was a different story as she continued with the smashing form she has been showing since the 2018 season began – looking confident on court and moving and hitting really well.
At the other side of the net was fellow Brit Louise Hunt, both players bidding to make it to the next round.
The pair last met on court 12 months ago in the quarter-finals at this very event and much like then Shuker took this exchange in straight sets.
The British number one quickly took the first set, and continued her dominance into the second, closing this round 16 match out and making it to the quarter-finals by only dropping one game.
But the score line really doesn’t tell the full story.
Hunt, who was involved in a marathon of a first round match yesterday, was hustling well to try and get past Shuker and we were treated to some brilliant, competitive and entertaining rallies – both women playing smart to try and get past the other.
Shuker will now progress to the quarter-finals in her campaign to attempt to go one better than her 2017 runner-up honours in singles.
And alongside Hunt will begin the defence of her doubles title here tomorrow.