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Lewis and Catherine Fletcher secured a husband-and-wife double at the 2012 National Deaf Tennis Championships, winning the men's and women's singles and doubles titles between them at the Gosling International High Performance Tennis Centre in Welwyn Garden City, but narrowly missed out on a title treble after finishing runners-up in the mixed doubles.
Lewis was second seed for the men's singles and eased into the semi-finals before defeating former two-time champion Daniel Tunstall 7-6(7), 6-0 while defending champion and top seed Peter Willcox dropped just three games in his journey to the final.
However, Lewis won a hotly contested final 6-3, 6-3 to end ten-time champion Willcox's quest for a third successive National title to become National champion himself for the very first time.
In the women's singles Bethany Brookes had emulated her mother Fiona to become National champion in each of the previous two years in Catherine Fletcher's absence. The two players set up an intriguing final after both easing through their respective semi-finals, but despite Brookes outplaying her opponent in the second set it was Fletcher who ultimately had the final say to clinch her seventh National title 6-4, 0-6, 6-3.
Lewis Fletcher and Willcox paired up for the men's doubles and the top seeds clinched their third National title together since 2005 after beating second seeds Jamie King and Tunstall 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
Meanwhile, Brookes and Catherine Fletcher beat Sophie Paul and Beth Simmons 6-0, 6-4 in the final of the women's doubles, giving Brookes her second successive National title in the event.
Catherine Fletcher has won the women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles titles all in one year at the National Deaf Tennis Championships on one previous occasion. However, repeating the treble she won in 2009 proved just beyond her and her husband, who are two-time mixed doubles champions. On this occasion they had to be content with runners-up honours as second seeds Brookes and Willcox won the final 7-6(2) 6-3.
The umpires use sign language to communicate with the players during a match.
On Sunday there was a free tennis coaching session for children with a hearing impairment aged 2-9 years old. The session was organised by the Tennis Foundation and the British Deaf Tennis Association, in partnership with Deaf Parents Deaf Children.Almost 20 children attended the session which was supported by coaches who can sign, as well as sign language interpreters."We had a very successful Championships and it was great to see so many young children picking up a racket and having a go before seeing some top role models in action," said Tournament Director Becky Tilley.You can find out more about getting involved in tennis if you have a disability here. Or you can contact the Tennis Foundation through the button on the right.
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