Visually Impaired Tennis National Finals 2023: Logan & Rodriguez-Deb among stars to win gold in Wrexham
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12 singles and doubles titles were awarded at the Wrexham Tennis Centre after the Visually Impaired Tennis National Finals concluded following three days of competition.
The National Finals is the culmination of a domestic calendar of LTA regional events for players who have various degrees of sight loss, and this year many of the sport’s top-flight players returned to the national stage having reached international acclaim, competing at the IBSA World Games for the first time in August.
The IBSA World Games B2 Women’s Singles titlist, Amanda Large, was one of 12 champions to be named in Wrexham after defeating Yorkshire’s Bethan Jones 4-0, 4-0. Large, who’s ITF World Tennis Number stands at No.28, continued to ride the crest of the wave as she later claimed gold in the B2/3 Women’s Singles draw, beating last season’s hat-trick hero, Louise Evans, 4-1, 2-4, [10-5].
Evans, having also contended in the B3 category, won her second silver medal of the tournament after she and Andrea Logan met for third year running. Despite her win over Logan in last year’s final showpiece, Evans just missed out on defending her title, eventually losing 4-2, 4-2.
Elsewhere, Lydia Wrightson topped the B4/5 Women’s Singles group, recording three wins from three round-robin matches to earn her place in the final, where she would go on to claim her third successive title. Wrightson overcame decorated star, Rosie Pybus, 5-3, 4-2, to add to her illustrious list of accolades.
Meanwhile, Bianka Graeming secured silverware in the B1 category for a second year running after beating this year’s IBSA World Games silver and gold medallist, Monica Smith.
In the men’s singles categories, the two-time B1 National champion, Naqi Rizvi, added a third to his collection after earning a 6-4 victory over Nottingham’s Gavin Griffiths, while Daniel Hopkins captured his ninth win against James Currie in 11 matches to pick up gold in the B2 draw.
While Neil Balmforth and Ivan Rodriguez-Deb retained their respective titles in the men’s B3 and B4-B5 singles with little trouble, the World Games bronze medallists also retained their men’s B2-B5 men’s doubles title, with Logan and Wrightson securing the same brace of titles in the corresponding women’s singles and doubles events. For Rodriquez-Deb, this year’s B4-B5 Men’s Singles title means that he is now undefeated in four National Finals in Wrexham since 2019.
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