Anna McBride & Esah Hayat lift titles at the Australian Open PWII Championships and DHOH Championships
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Anna McBride and Esah Hayat secured a British title treble between them at the Australian Open PWII Championships and DHOH Championships over the weekend as five of six British players across the two tournaments left Melbourne Park having won or finished runner-up in at least one event.
McBride won both the women’s singles and doubles titles for the second year running to reinforce her world No.1 spot in the VIRTUS World Rankings for Players with Intellectual Impairments.
A semi-finalist in the men’s doubles at the AO Deaf or Hard of Hearing Championships in 2023, Hayat went two better this time after partnering Hungary’s Gabor Matthe to win all three of their round-robin matches to lift the title.
McBride, a member of our Great Britain Learning Disability National Squad, dropped just two games across her three women’s singles round-robin matches to earn her place in the semi-finals of the AO PWII Championships and she continued her dominance in the last four as she raced past Australia’s Andriana Petrakis 6-0, 6-1. World No.4 Kelly Wren was the fourth and last Australian opponent for McBride in five singles matches but she also could offer little resistance as McBride retained her title 6-2, 6-0.
McBride and Germany’s Sophia Schmidt, the only non-Australian opponent the Briton had beaten in her singles campaign, also remained unbeaten in the women’s doubles. However, they faced a much more difficult task than McBride had overcome in singles, with a narrow 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-7 victory over Britain’s Lily Mills and Belgium’s Hanne Lavreysen proving the difference between winner and runner-up positions.
Two of the three Brits contesting the PWII men’s singles and doubles draws reached singles semi-finals as 2023 runner-up Fabrice Higgins and Oliver Beadle went head-to-head for a place in the final. Beadle came through 0-6, 6-4, 10-4 in a thrilling all-British encounter before missing out 6-3, 6-2 in the final to Australia’s world No.1 Archie Graham, the player Beadle had finished runner-up to in their round-robin group in Melbourne in 2023.
Beadle also finished runner-up in the men’s doubles with fellow Brit Aidan Moody as the Brits split the two all-Australian partnerships in the draw.
Beadle and Moody won two of their three round-robin doubles matches, a 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 victory over Mitchell James and Damian Phillips earning the Brits the runner-up spot behind Archie Graham and Joshua Holloway as Higgins took third place alongside India’s Lakshmi Jadala.
After finishing sixth in the men’s singles in 2023 at the inaugural deaf tennis tournament to take place alongside a Grand Slam, Hayat was eighth in this year’s singles draw despite some strong performances against top seed Prithvi Sekhar of India and Slovenian third seed Marino Kegl.
However, it was in the men’s doubles where former World Deaf men’s doubles silver medallist Hayat, a member of the Great Britain Deaf National Squad, excelled. The multiple National champion and Hungary’s Mathe remained unbeaten in their three matches, beating Australian Glen Flindell and Sekhar 0-6, 7-5, 10-5 in the contest that decided the winners and runners-up.