Britain's Wheelchair Tennis players shine at Eton Manor
about a year ago
Britain's Wheelchair Tennis players led a successful campaign at the Eton Manor International in the Olympic Park.
On the first day of competition at the Eton Manor International, Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin booked their quad singles semi-final spots after straightforward wins.
World no.4 Lapthorne took just 41 minutes to claim a 6-0, 6-1 win over Liam O’Reilly as Beijing Paralympic quad doubles bronze-medallist Burdekin chalked up a similarly impressive win over Becky Coleman 6-0, 6-0.
“It’s been so exciting to play at Eton Manor today especially with my family being from this neck of the woods, it’s unbelievable to be involved.”Andy Lapthorne
“I have a tough game ahead of me tomorrow against the world No.7 but hopefully I can reach the final and play in front of a huge home crowd on Saturday.”
The results placed Burdekin against world no.2 and double Paralympic gold-medallist Peter Norfolk for a place in Saturday’s final while Lapthorne was set to play Swede Anders Hard.
The women’s semi-finals were also decided as Lucy Shuker defeated Val Fisher 6-0, 6-0 to set up a match with world no.1 Esther Vergeer. Jordanne Whiley and Kay Forshaw both received byes and to face each other the following day.
Meanwhile, the quarter-finalists were decided in the men’s event with Marc McCarroll continuing his recent winning streak to be the victor in the first completed match at the Eton Manor venue getting the better of Dermot Bailey 6-1, 6-1.
British No.1 Gordon Reid didn’t take long to book his spot as he racked up a 6-0, 6-0 win over Stephen Cox while British No.3 David Phillipson will join him after beating Paul Stewart 6-0, 6-0.
And in the first match to be played on the 5,000 capacity Centre Court, Alex Jewitt defeated Alfie Hewett 6-2, 6-4 to set up a quarter-final with Reid.
There was a close encounter between Kevin Simpson and Josh Steels but Simpson’s experience came through as he closed out the match 7-6(3), 6-2.
The doubles events got underway too as David Phillipson and Alex Jewitt defeated David Cabrera and Jamie Robinson 6-1, 6-1 in the men's doubles. While the Netherlands' Rodie de Bie teamed up with 14-year-old Alfie Hewett to beat Glen Gent and Paul Stewart 6-0, 6-4.
Meanwhile, the men’s semi-finalists were decided on Friday as British players took three of the four spots available.
British No.1 Gordon Reid defeated Alex Jewitt 6-0, 6-1 while British No.2 Marc McCarroll also had few problems as he won 6-2, 6-1 against Dutchman Rody de Bie.
Reid was rewarded with a place in the semi-finals against David Phillipson after he claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kevin Simpson while Dutch top seed Robin Ammerlaan emerged as McCarroll’s challenger as the world no.7 won 6-1, 6-1 against Jamie Robinson.
Reid and McCarroll continued their recent impressive run of form to clinch a place in the men’s doubles final as they defeated Phillipson and Jewitt 6-3, 6-3. The British pair were set to face Simpson and Ammerlaan in Saturday's final following their 7-6(4), 6-3 win over Alfie Hewett and de Bie.
The quad doubles final was also decided as Swedish pair Hard and Marcus Jonsson overcame Liam O'Reilly and Becky Coleman 6-0, 6-0 to set up a tie with top seeds Norfolk and Lapthorne after the Australian Open champions received a bye.
On Friday, double Paralympic champion Peter Norfolk reached the quad singles final.
Top seed Norfolk got the better of world No.6 Jamie Burdekin 6-0, 6-1 on Centre Court to book his place against Swede Anders Hard. Hard got the better of world No.4 Andy Lapthorne in their semi as it went to a deciding set but the world No.7 eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
British No.1 Jordanne Whiley made short work of her women’s singles semi-final against Kay Forshaw to win 6-1, 6-2 and be the first ever player to reach a singles final at the venue.
But compatriot Lucy Shuker couldn’t join her as she faced the nine-year unbeaten Esther Vergeer in their semi-final. British No. 2 Shuker started well but world No.1 Vergeer wasn’t to be undone and clinched her place in the final 6-2, 6-0.
Whiley capped off a successful day by teaming up with Shuker to become the first champions crowned at Eton Manor with the women’s doubles title.
The pair defeated compatriot Forshaw and Val Fisher 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
But Reid did get his hands on a gold medal when he teamed up with McCarroll to win the men's doubles title 6-4, 7-6 against Ammerlaan and Kevin Simpson.
Meanwhile, in the women's singles final Jordanne Whiley put up her best ever performance against world No.1 Esther Vergeer and found herself at 5-5 in the first set. But Vergeer's class came through as she went on to win the gold medal 7-5, 6-1.
On Saturday, Peter Norfolk tasted gold for the first time at Eton Manor as he came through an epic match against world No.7 Anders Hard to win the quad singles final.
The world No.2 and double Paralympic champion found it tough going on Centre Court but after losing the first set 6-2, he took the second to a tie-break and used all of his experience to take it 7-4.
It stayed tight in the decider but top seed Norfolk won the crucial points and closed out the win 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5.
Andy Lapthorne was awarded the bronze medal following his semi-final performance against Hard yesterday after the other losing semi-finalist Jamie Burdekin withdrew before the bronze medal match.
Norfolk and Lapthorne teamed up later in the day to collect another gold as they won the quad doubles 6-1, 6-4 against Hard and Marcus Jonsson.
Before rain suspended play on the blue courts at Eton Manor, top seed Robin Ammerlaan booked his place in the men's singles final dashing the home crowd's hopes on Centre Court as he recorded a 6-3, 7-5 win over British No.2 Marc McCarroll.
On the final day of play at the Eton Manor International, Robin Ammerlaan was the men's singles gold medalist after he proved too strong for British No.3 David Phillipson in the final.
Phillipson kept pace with the top seed and world No.7 for the first five games but a few too many unforced errors gave Ammerlaan the advantage and he closed out the match 6-2, 6-2.
World No.23 Phillipson was awarded the silver medal while the bronze went to Gordon Reid after his bronze medal match opponent Marc McCarroll pulled out.
"I know I've got the quality and the skill to beat top players like Robin, but today it just didn't go for me and I wasn't consistent enough. But it was great to play on Centre Court at Eton Manor and I feel like I'll be well prepared come September if all goes well and I get picked for the team," said Phillipson.
The only other match of the day saw 14-year-old Alfie Hewett win the men's consolation final 7-5, 6-4 against Josh Steels.
Despite the unseasonal weather, British players were impressed by the facilities at Eton Manor and will be trying hard to qualify for the London 2012 Paralympics right up until the deadline of May 20th when the world rankings will be assessed.
"I'm really excited by the prospect of coming back here in September and winning singles and doubles this week has given me a taster of how good the same success could feel at the Paralympic Games," added four-time Paralympic Games medalist Norfolk.
"Centre Court has been brilliant to play on, especially when we had a very knowledgable crowd in here yesterday creating a great atmosphere when the event was opened up to the public."Peter Norfolk