Shuker and Whiley head continued GB success in Rio
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Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker guaranteed themselves a medal match at the Rio Paralympics as they moved into the semi-finals of the women’s doubles on the third day of the Paralympic Tennis Event.
The London 2012 bronze medallists cruised past Macarena Cabrillana and Francisca Mardones from Chile to set up an exciting clash with the top seeds from the Netherlands, Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot, for a place in the gold medal match.
Whiley and Shuker made only one unforced error throughout to move into the last four 6-0, 6-0.
“I came out here after the doubles gold with Jordy and we are in good form and feeling confident,” said Shuker. “I said we wanted to give it everything we’ve got and we certainly did that. We weren’t pushed too hard but it’s important to work hard as a team to get the job done.
There was further success for Whiley in the singles as she came past home favourite Natalia Mayara 6-4, 6-1 to book her place in the singles quarter-finals. There was no such joy for Lucy Shuker, however, who faced a tough test against world No.1 Jiske Griffioen.
Despite a fine effort it wasn’t enough with Shuker going down 6-4, 6-1.
There was more doubles joy for Britain when Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett marched into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Ho Won Im and Ha Gel Lee from Korea.
Reid and Hewett both also progressed in the singles. With Reid having waited until today to get his Paralympics underway he wasted no time at all, racing past Sweden’s Dan Wallin 6-1, 6-2. Hewett was equally as impressive as he moved into the last 16 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Upali Rajakaruna of Sri Lanka.
Hewett said: “I woke up this morning feeling a lot calmer, maybe even a little tired after all the nerves and excitement of the past couple of days, so I’m happy to wrap up this match in straight sets because he’s the type of player who won’t let you find your rhythm. To be through to the last 16 in my first Games is pretty amazing.”
There was disappointment however, for the quad doubles pairing of Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin who lost out on the semi-finals against Australia’s Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson.
The second seeds were never in the match with over 40 unforced errors and their chance of the gold medal ended 6-1, 6-2. They will now play for bronze against either the Israeli or American pairing.
Britain’s Dave Phillipson and Marc McCarroll both faced tough tests against and first and second seeds respectively in their singles, and against the top seeds in the doubles.
Phillipson went down 6-1, 6-2 to world No.1 Stephane Houdet from France with McCarroll losing out to second seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium 6-1, 6-4.
They then faced the top seeds from France, Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, in the men’s doubles, where they couldn’t live with the top seeds and lost 6-0, 6-2.
“Obviously I’m gutted that for me Rio 2016 is over but I have been pleased with my performances and I came up against the world No.1 twice today, which was not easy,” said Phillipson.
“I’ve loved the whole experience and the people here in Rio have treated us really well. The crowds have been amazing and we’re really lucky with tennis in the UK to have the support of the Tennis Foundation and National Lottery funding so we’re all grateful for having the chance to come out here and give it our best.”