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Esah Hayat and Lewis Fletcher pose behind union jack flag with their medals
GB Teams

GB Men Win Silver at World Deaf Tennis Team Championships


Great Britain have won the silver medal in the Dresse Cup, the men’s competition at the World Deaf Tennis Team Championships, after Esah Hayat (East Finchley, London) and Lewis Fletcher (Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire) narrowly lost out to second seeds Germany 2-1 in Saturday’s final in Antalya, Turkey.

With Great Britain contesting the Dresse Cup final for just the fourth time in the event’s 58-year history and seeking to win the event for just the second time, 16-year-old Hayat opened the final in the same way he began Great Britain’s campaign in Antalya a week earlier, defeating Germany’s Hans Toedter 6-0, 6-2 to end the competition undefeated in his six singles rubbers.

Victory over Germany in the first of four round-robin group ties had been the catalyst for a remarkable week for the Great Britain men’s team, who won all four of their group ties and Friday’s semi-final against Japan in a deciding doubles.

One last deciding doubles rubber would settle the Dresse Cup title after Germany’s Urs Breitenberger beat Fletcher 6-3, 6-0 in the second singles. With Fletcher and Hayat recovering from 3-1 down to level the first set at 4-4, Germany eventually snatched the set before play was suspended due to heavy rain. An hour later the players returned to court and Fletcher and Hayat turned a 3-4 deficit into a 5-4 second set lead, but it was not to be and Breitenberger and Toedter ultimately won the doubles 6-4, 7-5.

After wins in 11 of the 12 matches he’d played during his World Deaf Tennis Team Championships debut, 2015 World Junior Champion Hayat said:

We are gutted to lose be final, but I’m still very proud of our performance this week to come second and to have won all my singles matches. We showed the world how strong we are and I look forward to having more success in future tournaments.

For 33-year-old Fletcher it was a second Dresse Cup silver medal after he made his debut in the event in 2003, when Great Britain also reached the final against Germany. Fletcher said:

“So close yet so far! That’s the feeling I get today. Before today we were congratulating ourselves for getting to the final. We are very proud of that. But when you get so close, it hurts more. But we both had a great week so we can’t complain. Esah will have learned loads this week and I’m looking forward to more success with him in the doubles in future tournaments.

 “We also need to say a massive thanks to the support team here, too. Cathy (Fletcher – Team Manager and Captain), Alex Cockram (Team Captain) and Andy Graham (Sports Therapist)! Without them we would never have been fit and fresh for each match! Also a big thanks to the Tennis Foundation, as always, for their support behind the scenes and in enabling us to have this set up.”

 With the Great Britain women’s team of Phoebe Suthers and Valerie Copenhagen finishing sixth in the Maere Cup, the women’s world team competition, as both players also made their debuts in the event, Tennis Foundation National Deaf Tennis Coach Catherine Fletcher, said:

“This week has been unbelievable - the men did extremely well to make the final. They should be so proud of themselves for coming away with silver. The women were also one point away from making the semi-finals, so we must also congratulate their efforts too. And I’d like to say a big thank you to the Tennis Foundation for their support and also to my immediate support team, Alex and Andy - this week was a real team effort and I’m so proud to be British and deaf.”



Great Britain have reached the final of the Dresse Cup, the men’s competition at the World Deaf Tennis Team Championships, for the fourth time in the event’s 58-year history after Esah Hayat (East Finchley, London) and Lewis Fletcher (Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire) secured a 2-1 victory over Japan in Friday’s semi-finals in Antalya, Turkey.
With Hayat and Fletcher finishing top of their round-robin group after winning each of their previous ties 2-1 in deciding doubles matches, their semi-final against Japan followed the same pattern after 16-year-old Hayat continued his incredible unbeaten record on his Dresse Cup debut.
Hayat defeated Harato Imai 6-1, 6-4 in the opening singles rubber before Japan’s Naoto Oyamatsu levelled the semi-final when beating Fletcher 6-4, 6-2. However, another exemplary doubles performance from Fletcher and Hayat saw them beat Oyamatsu and Kohta Sasajima 6-1, 6-2 to book Great Britain’s place in Saturday’s final against Germany, who Great Britain beat in their round-robin group earlier in the week.
After his fifth victory in five singles matches in Antalya once again spearheaded the Great Britain success, Hayat said:

“I’m really pleased and proud of GB to win through to the final. It was a nerve-wracking day, but the support of the team pulled me through. I was another very solid doubles performance today, too, and the hard work behind the scenes has certainly paid off once again,”

Saturday’s final will see Great Britain face Germany in the Dresse Cup final for the first time since 2003. Fletcher, who made his Dresse Cup debut on that occasion, when Britain were silver medallists, said:

“It’s an unbelievable week we are having here! It’s just amazing that Esah is the same age as I was back in 2003 when I made my Dresse Cup debut and GB reached the final! We’ve been the underdogs here and we’ve proved to everyone that we are strong as a team! Esah’s singles form has been superb and our doubles partnership has been fantastic. It’s the first time in my deaf playing career that I’ve felt I have a link that I can really trust. It’s been a long time waiting for this. Tomorrow is another day and we will go out and do what we know we can do!

“We also need to say a massive thanks to the support team here, too. Cathy (Fletcher – Team Manager and Captain), Alex Cockram (Team Captain) and Andy Graham (Sports Therapist)! Without them we would never have been fit and fresh for each match! Also a big thanks to the Tennis Foundation, as always, for their support behind the scenes and in enabling us to have this set up.”

Catherine Fletcher, the Tennis Foundation’s National Deaf Tennis Coach, said:

“It was an amazing result today - I am so proud of the guys. Esah has been consistent in his singles and getting the job done there and Lewis phenomenal in the doubles. It’s been a great team effort. I must also say a big thanks to Alex and Andy, as they have been a wonderful support and have made my job much easier. It's times like this that reminds us why we do this for deaf tennis - for the passion and belief we have for the love of our sport.”

WATCH Esah Hayat and Lewis Fletcher face Japan in their Dresse Cup semi-final HERE

27/09/18 - GB Women finish sixth in Maere Cup


Great Britain's women finished sixth in the Maere Cup on Thursday in Antalya as Phoebe Suthers and Valerie Copenhagen completed their debuts in the World Deaf Tennis Team Championships with a deciding doubles rubber against Japan.

The fifth place play-off began with Miyu Kita beating Copenhagen 6-0, 6-1, but 15-year-old Suthers forced the doubles rubber after making a strong finish to her singles contest against Misa Kawabe to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.

But it wasn't to be for the British duo in the deciding doubles as Kawabe and Kita prevailed 6-0, 6-3.



Great Britain’s men’s team secured their place at the top of their Dresse Cup round-robin group on Wednesday after Esah Hayat and Lewis Fletcher defeated Hungary 2-1 after yet another deciding doubles rubber to guarantee Britain’s place in Friday’s semi-finals.

Sixteen-year-old Hayat maintained his 100 per cent singles record on his World Deaf Tennis Team Championships debut, beating Gabor Varkoly 6-0, 6-1 in the opening rubber of the crucial tie.

Former Deaflympics champion Gabor Mathe proved too strong for Lewis Fletcher as the Hungarian took the second singles rubber 6-2, 6-1, but another superb doubles performance from Fletcher and Hayat saw them ease past Mathe and Varkoly 6-2, 6-1.

“I'm very pleased to be through to the semi-finals with Lewis. We've both been playing well and all the preparation we did before the trip is certainly proving very beneficial. Roll on the semis,” said Hayat.

“It’s been a great week so far. Esah been very solid in the singles, and I’ve had a few very tough singles matches, which means the doubles has been very important. I’ve also had to think about my body, as it’s been taking a battering,” said 33-year-old Fletcher, 

“All the doubles training we have done has been paying off tremendously. My goal for the men’s team before coming here was to get out of the group and now we have won the group! It’s an amazing feeling! We will march on and see what the semi-final brings.”

25/09/18 - GB Men beat Austria 2-1 and GB Women beat India 2-1

Great Britain’s men’s team secured another superb result on Tuesday in Antalya, beating 2014 bronze medallists Austria 2-1 to remain unbeaten across their first three Dresse Cup round-robin ties.

Meanwhile, the Great Britain women’s team earned their first victory of the week in the Maere Cup to finish third in their Group B round-robin. GB will now play for fifth place.

World No.4 Mario Kargl proved to be a tough opponent for Lewis Fletcher in the opening singles rubber against Austria, Kargl winning 6-3, 6-2. However, Esah Hayat extended his own personal unbeaten sequence in Antalya to claim the second singles rubber against Daniel Erlbacher 6-1, 6-0, therefore taking Great Britain into a deciding doubles rubber for the third successive day.

Reigning National Champions Fletcher and Hayat produced another confident performance to defeat Robert Gravogl and Kargl 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles, with Great Britain now set to face Hungary on Wednesday in their last round-robin Group B tie as they bid to book a place in Friday’s semi-finals.


In the Maere Cup Phoebe Suthers earned her first singles win of the week against India’s Shaik Jafreen. Suthers took the first set comfortably 6-2 before Jafreen retired at the start of the second se, giving Great Britain a 6-2, 6-0 win for the purposes of their round-robin results.

Valerie Copenhagen put up a fine effort against Bhavani Kedia before Kediacame through 6-3, 6-2, but the Brits were much the stronger in the doubles, wrapping up victory over Kedia and Kirtilata Ram Mehar Singh 6-1, 6-0.


After their first overall tie victory of the week Suthers and Copenhagen now have a training day on Wednesday before playing Japan in Thursday’s scheduled Maere Cup fifth place-play-off.

24/09/18 - GB Men beat India 2-1 and GB Women lost to Russia 3-0

Great Britain’s men’s Dresse Cup team made it two wins in two round-robin ties on Monday when Esah Hayat and Lewis Fletcher beat India 2-1 after a second deciding doubles rubber in Antalya.

With Fletcher playing as the GB No.1 singles player in Turkey based on his higher world ranking, the two-time National champion found the going tough against India’s Prithvi Sekhar. However, Hayat continued to make it a memorable Dresse Cup debut as he raced past Dashartha Prasanth 6-0, 6-1 and Fletcher and Hayat maintained their unbeaten doubles partnership 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to compete the victory.

Great Britain will face Austria in their third of four Dresse Cup round-robin Group B ties on Tuesday.


Hayat (GBR) bt Dashartha Prasanth (IND) 6-0, 6-1
Prithvi Sekhar (IND) bt Lewis Fletcher (GBR) 6-0, 6-2
Hayat & Fletcher (GBR) bt Sekhar & Presanth 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Great Britain’s women will face India on Tuesday as they bid to complete their Maere Cup round-robin ties on a winning note.

Monday’s tie against Russia proved to be a tough undertaking for Phoebe Suthers and Valerie Copenhagen, Suthers losing out to world No.3 Polina Smirnova 6-0, 6-1, while Copenhagen was also able to take one game from Anastasiia Chumak. The doubles rubber brought more success for Suthers and Copenhagen, but Smirnova and Angelina Anuchia earned a 6-2 6-2 win as Russia took the Pool B tie 3-0.


Polina Smirnova (RUS) bt Phoebe Suthers (GBR) 6-0, 6-1
Anastasiia Chumak (RUS) bt Valerie Copenhagen (GBR) 6-1, 6-0
Polina Smirnova & Angelina Anuchia (RUS) bt Phoebe Suthers & Valerie Copenhagen (GBR) 6-2, 6-2

23/09/18 - GB Men beat Germany 2-1 and GB Women lost to France 2-1

Sixteen-year-old Esah Hayat made a winning Dresse Cup debut as Great Britain secured a fantastic victory over 2014 silver medallists Germany in the first of their four round-round Group B ties, with Lewis Fletcher and Hayat claiming a crucial deciding doubles rubber.


Esah Hayat (GBR) bt Hans Toedter (GER) 6-3, 6-2
Urs Breitenberger (GER) bt Lewis Fletcher (GBR) 6-3, 6-2
Fletcher & Hayat (GBR) bt Breitenberger & Toedter (GER) 6-2, 7-6

Great Britain Men play India in their second round-robin tie on Monday.

Great Britain Women came incredibly close to a winning start against France in their first Maere Cup Group B round-robin tie, but finished on a winning note when taking the doubles rubber. Phoebe Suthers had match points against Aurelie Coudon but a winning Maere Cup singles debut proved elusive.


Aurelie Coudon (FRA) beat Phoebe Suthers (GBR) 3-6. 7-6, 6-1
Marine Beney (FRA) beat Valerie Copenhagen  (GBR) 6-3, 6-2
Suthers & Copenhagen (GBR) beat Coudon & Lucie Boulestreau (FRA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0

Great Britain Women play Russia in their second of three round-robin ties on Monday.

Round Robin Draw

GB Squad

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