Visually Impaired National Finals 2021

22/11/2021

| News

Wrexham Tennis Centre hosted the LTA’s Visually Impaired National Finals last weekend, with three days of competitive tennis.

Close to 40 players from across the country competed in North Wales, with players contesting across ten separate events for men and women in singles and doubles. Steven Pilcher (Suffolk) was the tournament referee, and he was ably supported by the team at Wrexham and tournament volunteers.

LTA President David Rawlinson was in attendance to watch the matches and present the awards to the winning players and the runners-up.

National Finals Results

B1 Ladies Singles

Winner – Rachel Morgan

Runner-up – Yvette Priestley

B1 Men’s Singles

Winner – Naqi Rizvi

Runner-up – Roy Turnham

B2 Men’s Singles

Winner - Daniel Hopkins

Runner-up – James Currie

B3 Ladies Singles

Winner – Andrea Logan

Runner-up – Louise Evans

B3 Men’s Singles

Winner – Paul Ryb

Runner-up – Neil Balmforth

B4/5 Ladies Singles

Winner – Lydia Wrightson

Runner-up – Rosine Pybus

B4/5 Men’s Singles

Winner - Ivan Rodriguez-Deb

Runner-up – Christopher Baily

B1 Doubles

Winners – Tracy Compton & Roy Turnham

Runners-up – Naqi Rizvi & Monica Smith

Ladies Doubles

Winners – Louise Evans & Helen Potter

Runners-up – Andrea Logan & Lydia Wrightson

Men’s Doubles

Winners – Neil Balmforth & Ivan Rodriguez-Deb

Runners-up – James Currie & Paul Ryb

For a full list of results, please click here

Commenting on the National Finals, Louise Assioun GB Visually Impaired Tennis Head Coach, said: 

"It has been an honour to be back at the Visually Impaired Tennis Nationals, after a very tough 18 months for everyone involved in VI tennis and the VI community. Watching the players back on court, it seems hard to comprehend that many have not had the opportunity to get back on court to train and compete as much as they had pre pandemic. The standard certainly doesn't reflect that and the players are pushing each other to their limits.

"All of the finals have been of a level seen on the International stage, and the players should be extremely proud of themselves. 

"What has also been great to see are the junior players who came into the sport via taster sessions and are now fighting for their place on the podium. 

For myself, watching how much it has meant to the players to be back on court, competing at the highest of levels in their sport, has again shown how important sport is to our wellbeing. If you are interested in Visually Impaired Tennis, then please get in touch with the Open Court programme nearest you - its such a great game changer for all."

QUICK FACTS: Visually Impaired Tennis

  • One of the fastest growing disability sports
  • Ambitions for it to become a future Paralympic sport
  • Adapted from the full court version of tennis to a smaller court, marked out with lower nets and tactile lines
  • Uses an audible ball so players can hear it bounce
  • Players compete in different categories, from B1 to B5, with B1 category having the greatest degree of sight loss
  • Depending on a player’s category they are allowed between one and three bounces of the ball
  • VI tennis is an incredibly social sport to get involved in, from training to competitions for beginners to regular players
  • The LTA supports a range of local, regional and national competitions for blind or partially sighted people of any ability, as well as a GB international team, with Great Britain being one of the most successful nations in the world

Visually impaired tennis is part of the LTA’s Open Court programme, which is one of the biggest disability-specific sports development programmes in the country. The programme is delivered at a local level made up of a collaboration of key partners actively promoting and delivering opportunities for disables people to get involved in tennis through a customer focused approach. To find out more about the Open Court programme and VI tennis, please click here.

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