26 August - 2 September

LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series

National Tennis Centre

LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series Match Updates: Day 2

  • 02/09/2020

  • News

Day 2

Shuker & Whiley close out series with impressive win

Two-time Paralympic bronze medallists Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley finished completed their competitive match practice before the US Open with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Louise Hunt and Marc McCarroll as two days of fabulous wheelchair tennis drew to a close on the indoor courts at the NTC.

With Whiley facing her fiancé McCarroll on the opposite side of the net and McCarroll playing his second doubles contest of the afternoon at the NTC, Britain’s top two ranked women’s players earned the first breakthrough for a 4-2 lead. Shuker had her serve broken as Hunt and McCarroll drew level at 5-5, but she and Whiley soon found their range again and Whiley sealed the opening set with a well-placed forehand down the line.

McCarroll’s serve was broken for the third time as Shuker and Whiley made a bright start to the second set and raced to a 3-0 lead. A double fault presented Shuker and Whiley with match point and Shuker wrapped up victory with a forehand volley at the net.

Reid and Hewett triumph as pair

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid’s last competitive doubles match together before heading to New York to defend their US Open title ended in an entertaining 7-6 (11-9) victory over LTA Wheelchair Tennis Performance Head Coach Rob Cross and two-time Paralympian Marc McCarroll.

With world No.1 doubles pair and reigning US Open Doubles champions Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett seeking valuable match practice during the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series this week ahead of heading to New York to defend their title, Cross, playing on his feet, came in to partner McCarroll. 

The only major rule change in wheelchair tennis is that wheelchair players are allowed two bounces of the ball before having to return it. The ‘two-bounce’ rule was written into the Rules of Tennis in 1988 and allows wheelchair and non-disabled players to integrate and play against and alongside each other on a recreational and competition basis, with the wheelchair player(s) allowed two bounces and their non-disabled peers allowed the usual one bounce. The rule allows many wheelchair tennis players around the world to enjoy competing in tennis leagues and competitions – often in doubles - at local clubs, against and alongside non-disabled peers. 

Cross and former British No.1 McCarroll followed three breaks of serve with a love service game as they took an early 3-1 lead, but Hewett and Reid hit back to take five games in a row. Cross and McCarroll held to love again to make it 5-5, but neither partnership was able to break clear.

Hewett and Reid made the better start to the tie-break and earned the first two set points, and match points, as McCarroll served a double fault. There were chances for both partnerships to wrap up the win in the following exchanges, but another double fault from McCarroll gave Hewett and Reid the opportunity they needed and Hewett finished the contest with a forehand smash.

Dominant Shuker defeats Hunt

Lucy Shuker in action

Lucy Shuker completed her last singles match before heading to her fifth US Open with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 victory over British No.3 Louise Hunt in the last of the women’s singles round-robin contests at the NTC.

Shuker broke to love in the opening game and although Hunt had the opportunity to break back immediately, Shuker’s consistency and depth of shot proved key as she wrapped up the set with a backhand winner.

The British No.1 and world No. 12 broke to love again in the first game of the second set before Hunt got her first game of the match with a service break of her own. At 5-1 down Hunt produced two fantastic winners, but then hit a double fault to give Shuker match point, which she converted with a trademark dropshot.

Hewett edges close contest against Reid

Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett

Alfie Hewett edged a tense encounter 7-5, 7-5 against Gordon Reid in the much-awaited encounter that kicked off the second day of the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series at the NTC.

There were only glimpses of the very best tennis that either player can produce in the opening set as both struggled with their serves after more than six months without any competitive match play.

But after both of Britain’s top two ranked players had beaten Dermot Bailey 6-1, 6-1 on Tuesday it was Reid who sneaked into a 5-4 lead in today's match with a third service break in a row.

The eleventh game produced some sumptuous rallies as both Hewett and Reid appeared to be finding their rhythm, but a game later it was Hewett who set up his fourth set point with an exquisite forehand winner and he was gifted the set thanks to a double fault from Reid.

Reid battled back from 5-2 down in the second set and was two points away from forcing a tie-break but successive errors proved his undoing as Hewett ended his two round-robin matches with two victories before both players prepared to fly out to the US Open this weekend.

Day 1

Double success for Whiley

Jordanne Whiley in action

Jordanne Whiley made it two wins from two matches as she brought the opening day of the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series to a close with  6-0, 6-2 victory over Louise Hunt.

Although taken to deuce in the opening game, Whiley dominated large parts of the opening set, earning a 4-0 lead by reeling off three service return winners in a row. Having rid herself of some of the serving gremlins she experienced in her opening match, the British No.1 wrapped up the opening set with a well-placed cross court forehand winner on her second set point.

A love service game began an unbroken series of eight successive points at the start of the second set before Whiley allowed Hunt to get her first game on the board with an untimely double fault. British No.3 Hunt maintained her focus to stay in the contest, but Whiley’s consistency and power proved too much and she sent a backhand winner into an open court for one last break of serve.

Following a successful day's work, Whiley said: 

“It was good being back on the match court again.  I really wanted to play some competitive matches again as all I have been doing is drilling and got to the point where I said to myself I’m good with that now, I just want to play.  Obviously there was some rust but somethings I was really happy with such as my brand new backhand which I “birthed” during the last couple of months.  I wasn’t expecting it to be that good I’m pleased with how I controlled that.

"This week is really important preparation for next week and I’m grateful to the LTA for staging it on for us.  I’m not match sharp at all and what I didn’t want to do was go from six months of training into a Grand Slam with literally no matches under my belt, with all of the emotions, pressure and adrenaline that comes with that."   

Back with a win for Reid

Gordon Reid in action

In a week in which he had hoped to be in Tokyo defending his Paralympic title, Rio 2016 gold medallist Gordon Reid made a confident start to the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series as he inflicted the second 6-1, 6-1 defeat of the day on Dermot Bailey.

Bailey started well after his earlier loss to Alfie Hewett, but despite three double faults in his opening two service games, Reid had too much for the British No.3 and reeled off six games in succession, finishing by converting the first of two set points.

Reid’s second ace of the match brought him the opening game of the second set and his serve continued to prove a key factor as he earned back-to-back love service games and then dropped just two points when serving for the match. 

After sealing a win on return Reid said: 

"The reason we’re here is to sharpen up in match play scenarios and I felt it was a pretty good base to start from today. There are always things to improve but it felt good. The thing that probably felt most rusty since I’ve been back is my serve. It’s not my most natural shot so it takes a lot of repetition to feel good – I’ve been doing a lot of work on it and it’s been getting better and better in training, but it was good to see how it goes in a match. It’s not exactly where I want it to be yet but there’s still time to get to that.

“I’m feeling good but I think we’ve got to be realistic about the level of performance – we’ve seen in Cincinnati that everybody’s struggling to play their best tennis straight away so I think patience is going to be key. I’m feeling good about myself and I’m looking forward to getting out to one of the biggest events in tennis.”

Whiley triumphs on return to action

Jordanne Whiley in action

Jordanne Whiley made a winning return to competition in her opening match at the NTC, beating British No.2 Lucy Shuker in a contest in which both players struggled at times to find a rhythm.

Despite four double faults in her opening two service games, Whiley edged into a 2-1 lead and she went on to establish a 5-2 lead. Becoming more aggressive as the match went on, the world No.5 closed out the opening set with a crisp forehand winner.

The first service hold of the second set also belonged to Whiley as the British No.1 moved 4-1 ahead, but an indifferent game impeded her progress and kept Shuker in the match at 5-3. However, it was Shuker’s serve that ultimately proved her undoing as the match drew to a close and her double fault count moved into double figures.

Alfie kicks off proceedings with a win

Alfie Hewett celebrates

Alfie Hewett edged ahead in his head-to-head record against Dermot Bailey, making it six wins in their last six matches as the British No.1 kicked off the LTA Wheelchair Tennis Series with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Too many unforced errors from Bailey’s racket, combined with Hewett’s power and precision carried the world No.3 to a 4-0 lead before Bailey’s resilience finally earned him a place on the scoreboard. Hewett saw three successive set points on Bailey’s serve go astray, but finally clinched the opener as Bailey failed to control a backhand return.

It was Bailey’s turn to break at the start of the second set, but despite a series of fantastic shots from the British No.3, Hewett’s power ultimately proved too much as the world No.3 sealed victory. Dermot is back in action later, taking on British No. 2 Gordon Reid in the third match at the National Tennis Centre.

Following victory Hewett said:

“I didn’t really know what to expect today from either of us. I’ve had a bit more practice recently with Gordon (Reid) coming down to a camp so I think I was perhaps a bit more match ready than Dermot, and I was really happy with the level I played at today. 

“I expected to be a lot worse than I was today – there were a couple of drop shots and movements that were a bit ridiculous but you just have to laugh them off at this stage. If you get up tight about it you end up just getting a lot more annoyed so it’s not worth it. You look at a lot of top level sport right now and I think this is the way it’s going to be for a while. I’m feeling good technically and physically, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to get out a get as much time on court as possible this week to get all those little details tied up."