Nottingham | More British success at British Open
Rio Paralympic quad singles silver medallist Andy Lapthorne moved into the quad singles semi-finals on Wednesday’s second day of the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Further British success at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour Super Series event, organised by the Tennis Foundation, included Rio gold and silver medallists Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett booking their places in the men’s singles quarter-finals before combining to reach the men’s doubles semi-finals.
I’m not sure how many years in a row now that I’ve reached the semis here, but it’s a good few years. I’m looking to reach the final and hopefully get over the line this time, having been very close in the last few years Andy Lapthorne
Lapthorne, twice a quad singles finalist at the Nottingham Super Series tournament in recent years, produced a confident performance to beat Brazil’s Ynamitu Silva 6-1 6-4. The world No.2 now faces South Africa’s world No. 4 Lucas Sithole in a bid to reach another British Open final.
“I’m not sure how many years in a row now that I’ve reached the semis here, but it’s a good few years. I’m looking to reach the final and hopefully get over the line this time, having been very close in the last few years,” said Lapthorne.
Hopes of an all-British quad singles semi-final came to an end when Sithole defeated world No.9 Antony Cotterill as all four seeds advanced to the last four.
Meanwhile, local interest in the quad singles and doubles came to an end, with Ruddington’s James Shaw seeing his hopes of joining Lapthorne in the last four fade with a 6-1 6-2 loss to American world No. 1 David Wagner. Wagner plays Australian fourth seed Heath Davidson in his semi-final.
Shaw also went out of the quad doubles, partnering Japan’s Shota Kawano. Despite a fine effort they bowed out to the more experienced partnership of Davidson and Sithole 6-2 2-6 6-3.
Paralympic gold medallist Reid opened his bid to reach a third British Open men’s singles final by defeating Brazil’s Daniel Rodrigues 6-4 6-2. Britain’s world No.2 plays French sixth seed Nicolas Peifer in Thursday’s quarter-finals.
“It was tough conditions today, it was very windy, but it was the same for both of us and I feel I played some decent tennis given the conditions. So overall I’m pretty happy and I’m looking forward to my quarter-final against Nico,” said Reid.
Meanwhile, world No.3 Hewett will play former British Open champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium on Thursday after a 6-0 6-0 victory over fellow teenage Brit Ruairi Logan.
“I definitely think it was the kind of match that Ruairi can use to measure where’s he’s at in his game,” said Rio Paralympic silver medallsit Hewett. “He played some really good points today and has got a bright future. I’ve been in his position before and at this level you cannot give anything and I didn’t today. So I’m glad to be in the quarter-finals and it’s on to the next challenge. “
Two-time Wimbledon doubles champions Hewett and Reid later started their challenge for a second British Open men’s doubles title with a hard won 7-5 6-4 victory over Dutchman Tom Egberink and Shingo Kunieda of Japan to book their places in the semi-finals.
Second seeds Hewett and Reid take on third seeds Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands next.
While all eight seeds are through to Thursday’s men’s singles quarter-finals, all four top seeds have booked their places in the women’s singles semi-finals. British interest in the women’s singles came to an end with world No. 7 Lucy Shuker’s 6-1 7-6(3) loss to German third seed and former champion Sabine Ellerbrock.
Shuker and Lauren Jones also saw their women’s doubles challenge come to an end as Ellerbrock and Manami Tanaka of Japan booked their place in the semi-finals 6-0 6-3.
Aside from Hewett and Reid having reached Friday’s men’s doubles semi-finals, Thursday’s third day of play at the British Open will see Cotterill and Lapthorne get their turn as they start their quad doubles challenge. The reigning Doubles Masters champions and second seeds will play Davidson and Sithole.