She prefers not to be the centre of attention but Lucy Shuker will proudly fly the flag for British women’s wheelchair tennis when she makes her tenth Wimbledon appearance this week.

With two-time Paralympic bronze medallist and reigning women’s doubles champion Jordanne Whiley on maternity leave following the birth of her son, Shuker is the only British female player in either of the singles or doubles draws.

With nine previous appearances and three doubles runners-up finishes– in 2009, 2010 and 2012 – the 38-year-old is certainly no stranger to the manicured lawns of SW19.

Shuker openly admits the grass is the hardest of the surfaces for her to play on, with her level of disability and straps on her chair meaning she has less time than some of her rivals to adjust to the ball coming through faster and sometimes less true on the bounce.

Shuker is the British number one

But that has not stopped the British number one establishing herself on the wheelchair tennis scene.

“I don’t really mind not having the spotlight,” she said.

“Jordanne has had some tremendous results, all credit to her. She has had a lot of doubles results at Grand Slam level and singles.

“I’ve yet to win a Grand Slam. But I’m one of the most disabled players on the tour so it is tougher. But I work hard. I deserve to be here, fingers crossed I can play well and get a title.


“I love the sport, I love pushing myself and proving people wrong."

Lucy Shuker

“It was thought I was too disabled to play the sport and yet I’m one of the best players in the world. I’m happy and I still want more.”

Shuker will begin her tenth Wimbledon campaign in the women’s singles later today with a quarter-final against world number three Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands.

The two will also face off again in the doubles on Friday, as Shuker partners Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock against van Koot and Dutch compatriot Marjolein Buis in the semi-finals.

Van Koot is a former world number one but Shuker has won their last two meetings, giving her reason for optimism.

“Aniek is a good player, she is one of the top players in the world,” she added.

“Yes I have had some wins over her. I’ve got to take my chances and play my game, it will be tough but I hope I get the win.

“This is the third year for singles. It’s difficult and I’ve been in the doubles finals three times. In terms of my record, it’s been okay although I’ve not had a title.

“Every year I come back, I’m learning the grass court a little bit more and the style you have to play.

“Over the years Wimbledon is becoming more and more professional for the wheelchair tennis players.

“For me it’s an honour being here but I also have to remind myself that I deserve it.”

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