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Melbourne | Shuker already shining as the season begins

Melbourne | Shuker already shining as the season begins

She’s already won one title, made it to a semi-final and reached two singles quarter-finals.

All this and we are only two weeks into the 2018 season of the UNIQLO wheelchair tennis tour.

It’s safe to say Lucy Shuker is dazzling down under and there is potential more success could come as her Australian Open campaign begins this week.

It felt great to come through the match against Buis. I felt I was playing some pretty great tennis. Lucy Shuker

First title won – check

It didn’t take Lucy long to lift her first trophy of 2018 as it came in the first week of the season at the Sydney International Super Series event.

Once again she partnered Japan’s Yui Kamiji and with the pair having also won the USTA US Open title in the final Super Series event of last year it means that they can boast having won the last two women’s doubles titles on offer at Super Series level events in a row.

A week later at the Melbourne Open, this time partnering South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane she made it to the semi-finals of the doubles competition.

Of course Lucy is no stranger to success on the doubles court.

And with her ability to come into the net and put away a winner, as well as her movement around the court constantly improving she will definitely pose a threat in both singles and doubles competition at the Australian Open as well as way beyond that and well into the 2018 season.

 Lucy Shuker

She beat Marjolein Buis at the Melbourne Open

© Anna Vasalaki

First memorable win of the season – check

We all remember that incredible straight sets victory Lucy had over Marjolein Buis at the 2017 Australian Open which saw her book her place in the semi-final stages of the women’s singles event.

Well she’s only gone and done it in 2018 as well.

This time it was at the Melbourne Open and it may have taken her her three sets but she fought back from a set down against Buis to get the win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 booking her spot in her second women’s singles QF in as many weeks, having also reached the QF stages in Sydney the week before.

Lucy said: “It felt great to come through the match against Buis. I felt I was playing some pretty great tennis and even went 4-2 up in the first set.

”Despite losing the first set I am really pleased I stuck to my game plan and came through winning the second and third set.

”Physically I felt good even playing in hot conditions and I am using this as good preparation for next week.”

 Lucy Shuker

She won her first doubles title of the 2018 in Sydney

© Anna Vasalaki

First opportunity to show us the improvements in her game – check

Throughout these two weeks leading up to the Australian Open Lucy has showcased some of her best tennis and come away with one title and some really strong results elsewhere, not just the one against Buis.

At the Melbourne Open although she eventually bowed out to Montjane in the singles final she took the first set off her and took her to three sets.

Anyone who watched her play in Bath and towards the end of last season could see that her movement was improving and just getting better and better and this has continued into the beginning of the 2018 season.

Meaning that if you add this improvement to her game to her trademark and dangerous skill at the net she could once again see herself in the latter stages of the first slam of the year in both singles and doubles competition.

About The Author

Gemma-Louise Stevenson

Gemma is a journalist, presenter and commentator with specialisms in para-sport and tennis. She has been following the wheelchair tennis tour for a number of years now reporting from some of the major events, including Grand Slams, for various online, print and broadcast outlets, including the BBC. Gemma has also been commissioned to write a number of books on the sport. It is her ultimate ambition to see the wheelchair, VI, deaf and learning disability versions of the game reported equally and alongside the ATP and WTA tours and to be part of the group of journalists that helps to make that happen. Follow her on Twitter @gstevensonsport

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