Former finalists Jordanne Whiley, Gordon Reid and Andy Lapthorne got their British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships challenges off to a winning start on the second day of play at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on Wednesday 24 July.
It’s really nice to be back. I was here last year, but just as a spectator, of course, and it felt weird not to be playing. It’s great to be playing again. It wasn’t anything too tricky today, but I’ve been playing really well ever since Wimbledon and I’m feeling good and have the experience of playing Diede last month at the Super Series in France to build on now. Jordanne Whiley
Victories for the trio, who are all part of the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme, ensures Brit interest in the each of the women’s, men’s and quad singles quarter-finals at the LTA hard court event.
Whiley, the 2015 and 2016 British Open women’s singles champion, extended her winning sequence at the Super Series tournament to nine matches as she raced past Japan’s Yumiko Inoue 6-0, 6-0. World No. 8 Whiley, who has missed the last two editions of the British Open whilst on maternity leave, now plays world No.1 Diede de Groot of the Netherlands in the last eight. Whiley said:
“It’s really nice to be back. I was here last year, but just as a spectator, of course, and it felt weird not to be playing. It’s great to be playing again. It wasn’t anything too tricky today, but I’ve been playing really well ever since Wimbledon and I’m feeling good and have the experience of playing Diede last month at the Super Series in France to build on now.“
After his first round bye, men’s singles seventh seed Reid, British Open finalist in both 2012 and 2014, also made quick work of his opening match. Reid defeated Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki 6-0, 6-1, with the Rio Paralympic champion now set to face Dutchman Tom Egberink. Reid, men’s singles finalist at the French Open Grand Slam last month, said:
“It was solid and clinical today. He (Suzuki) can be quite dangerous on his day, so I was happy with my first match back on a hard court after Wimbledon. But I need to keep raising the level during the week. I feel in a better place than I was coming here last here and having been to the final twice before, it would be good to go one step further.”
Egberink ended any prospects of an all-Brit quarter-final after edging past 2017 British Open finalist Alfie Hewett, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Lapthorne, a finalist in the British Open quad singles draw in four of the last five years, battled back from 3-1 down in the second set against Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi to wrap up a 6-2, 6-4 win in his first match this year. Top seed Lapthorne, runner-up in the first ever quad singles draw at Wimbledon two weeks ago, now plays Brazilian seventh seed Ymanitu Silva. He said:
“I just had to turn up the intensity a bit in the second and hit my spots on my serve and return. That’s the key against these guys in the early rounds. To get through the first match is always nice and it was a good performance to get it done in straight sets in my first match since Wimbledon.”
While Lapthorne is into the quad singles quarter-finals, local favourite James Shaw was unable to build on his first round win and bowed out to Australian fourth seed Heath Davidson 6-3, 6-0. However, Shaw remained optimistic after beating Germany’s Marcus Laudan in three sets in the first round. He said:
“The first set today was really good and I was swinging and playing just like I do in practise, and I felt my level was a better standard than yesterday. That’s the standard that I now know that I can play at, so it’s really exciting to be producing that out on the match court. I just need more consistency.”
Elsewhere, Egberink’s victory over Hewett was one of two men’s singles matches that ended in defeat for a seeded player. Japan’s Takuya Miki also upset two-time Wimbledon champion and sixth seed Stefan Olsson of Sweden 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
The second day of play ended with doubles victories for 2015 men’s doubles champions Hewett and Reid, four-time Wimbledon champions Whiley and Japan’s Yui Kamiji and Shuker and her Japanese partner Momoko Ohtani.
That means that third seeds Hewett and Reid will play defending champions and second seeds Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Stefan Olsson of Sweden for a place in this year’s men’s doubles final.
Meanwhile, Whiley and Kamiji and Shuker and Ohtani will go head-to-head in the women’s doubles semi-finals, which means that one Brit will be in the final.
Thursday’s third day of play at the Nottingham Tennis Centre will include the start of the Nottingham Futures Tournament, which features many of Brittan’s leading junior players, including local East Midlands stars Abbie Breakwell and Dahnon Ward, who are among the players on the LTA’s Junior Futures Potential Programme.
LTA has invested in making the event free for all spectators. To book tickets visit www.lta.org.uk