Big wins for Whiley and Hewett at 2021 British Open Wheelchair Tennis
• 3 MINUTE READ
British players will contest five out of a possible six finals this weekend at the British Open, with Alfie Hewett and Jordanne Whiley into Sunday’s men’s and women’s singles finals.
Hewett and Gordon Reid and Whiley and Lucy Shuker will also bid for the men’s and women’s doubles titles on Saturday.
World No.2 Hewett beat fellow Brit and doubles partner Reid 6-3, 6-1 in the second British Open semi-final between the two players since 2017. The 23-year-old will play Japan’s World No.1 and seven-time champion Shingo Kunieda in the title decider after Kunieda defeated Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez 6-3, 6-2.
“It was a strong performance from myself.F I served really well and I thought I dominated the rallies when I had a chance, so I’m very happy with the result,” said Hewett. “It will be a really good contest against Shingo. We’ve had many, many matches against each other, which have always been tight, so I’m going to have to be playing some pretty god tennis to beat him.”
Rain halted Hewett and Reid’s doubles semi-final against Dutch duo Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers on Thursday evening, with the Brits trailing 3-1 in the first set. However, they won the first four games when the match resumed on Friday and went on to complete a 6-4, 7-5 victory to book a place in Saturday’s final against Frenchmen Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Shuker and Whiley will play Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in the women’s doubles final after defeating Japan’s Saki Takamuro and Manami Tanaka 6-2, 6-3
Third seed Whiley will then face World No.1 De Groot in Sunday’s women’s singles final after beating second seed Aniek van Koot 6-3, 6-2 in her semi-final, which was a repeat of the 2015 and 2016 finals that Whiley won in Nottingham.
“Me and Aniek have had long battles ever since our junior days, so I know I have to be on it when I play her,” said Whiley. “Today my focus was more on composure and control of my own game and I feel really pleased that I did that well.
I’ve not beaten Diede for a while now, but I’ve come close a few times, so I’ll keep chipping away and it’s another chance to have a go at the World No.1.”
Two-time British Open champion De Groot maintained her bid for a third title in Nottingham after powering past American fourth seed Dana Mathewson 6-1, 6-0.
Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne are the first Brits in finals action on Saturday’s penultimate day of play when they face Dutch top seeds Sam Schroder and Niels Vink for the quad doubles title.
Sunday’s quad singles final will be an all-Dutch affair after 2019 champion Niels Vink fought back from 2-0 down to win his semi-final against Japan’s Koji Sugeno 6-4, 6-2. Top seed Sam Schroder produced an equally proficient performance to beat four-time British Open champion David Wagner 6-4, 6-1.