Wrexham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament: Daily updates from Wrexham
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Day 4 - Finals Day
Jordanne Whiley completed a sensational return to international competition on Sunday when the 10-time Grand Slam champion beat world No.9 Katharina Kruger of Germany 6-2, 6-4 to win the women’s singles title at the inaugural ITF 3 Series Wrexham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.
While second seed Frederic Cattaneo won the men's singles and Canada's Rob Shaw claimed the quad singles, Whiley completed a memorable day at Wrexham Tennis Centre by adding the women’s doubles title with American partner Dana Mathewson.
The former world No. 3 and four-time Wimbledon doubles champion, playing her first international event since Wimbledon 2017 and since becoming a mum for the first time in January 2018, beat three of the top five seeds on her way to Sunday’s singles final against top seed Kruger.
Whiley, who became National champion for the fifth time in December in her first event since the birth of son Jackson, secured an immediate double break for a 3-0 lead in the final to settle any potential nerves. She then took the last two games of both sets to clinch her latest title after an hour and 27 minutes.
The 2015 US Open women’s singles champion, who will now be one of the top Brits taking on another strong international field at Bolton Indoor, which begins on Tuesday, said:
“Of course I’m not currently ranked and a lot depended on the draw here, but I’ve certainly exceeded my expectations. I guess I knew I could win it, but I’ve been training better than I played for some of this week so there’s plenty to work on. But I’ve made massive progress with my net play and returns.”
After her singles victory Whiley paired up with Mathewson to beat the top seeds, Britain’s Louise Hunt and Michaela Spaanstra of the Netherlands, 6-3, 6-3 in the women’s doubles final.
“I was probably more nervous for my (singles) second round against Dana than I was today, because I know that in the past we’ve had really strong matches and Dana really challenges me. So it was nice to be on the same side of the net today for the doubles. While Dana’s based in the UK we train together, too, and this was our debut together in doubles ahead of Bolton next week. I’m really excited for Bolton now as there will be more Top 10 players there and it will be a whole new challenge. I’ve really missed Jackson this week, so I’m super-excited to see him again in Bolton,” added Whiley.
Cattaneo beat Dutch top seed Ruben Spaargaren 6-4, 6-4 to win the men's singles title, having originally had two match points at 5-2 up in the second set. Shaw, winner of the equivalent ITF 3 Series quad singles event 12 months ago at the tournament's previous home in Preston, defeated Anders Hard of Sweden 6-2, 6-1 in this year's final.
Aside from Whiley's double success, Brits also contested the men’s doubles and quad doubles finals. Dermot Bailey and Chile’s Alexander Cataldo finished runners-up in the men’s doubles as Dutch top seeds Rody de Bie and Spaargaren took the spoils 7-6(3), 6-3. The all-British partnership of Antony Cotterill and James Shaw missed out in the quad doubles final to quad singles champion Rob Shaw and Korea's Kyu-Seung-Kim, who claimed a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory.
The Wrexham Indoor tournament and the Bolton Indoor ITF 2, which now takes place from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd February, form part of the International Tennis Federation’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour. They are the first two of seven world ranking wheelchair tennis tournaments to be held in Great Britain in 2019.
Jordanne Whiley moved to within one match of making a title-winning return to the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour on Saturday as an already impressive week for the former world No.3 got even better when she beat the women’s singles second seed in straight sets at Wrexham Indoor.
Brits will feature in four main draw finals on Sunday, with Whiley and Louise Hunt on opposite sides of the net in the women’s doubles final, Antony Cotterill and James Shaw pairing up for the quad doubles final and Dermot Bailey partnering Chile’s Alaxander Cataldo in the men’s doubles final.
Ten-time Grand Slam champion Whiley defeated world No.12 Michaela Spaanstra of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-1 to make it three back-to-back wins over seeded opponents in her first international tournament since becoming a mum in January 2018.
Whiley faces world No.9 and top seed Katharina Kruger of Germany on Sunday after Kruger brought hopes of an all-British final to an end with her 6-3, 6-1 semi-final win over fourth seed Louise Hunt.
The top two seeded players will meet in the men’s singles final after top seed Ruben Spaargaren of the Netherlands brought Dermot Bailey’s fine week to an end. Bailey had beaten the third seed in the quarter-finals and the British No.3 put up another strong performance in the last four before Spaargaren finally completed a 7-5, 6-4 win. Spaargaren will play French second seed Frederic Cattaneo in the final after Japan’s Takuya Miki narrowly failed to win a second deciding set tie-break in successive days. Cattaneo edged to a 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) semi-final win over Miki.
Canadian top seed Rob Shaw will play Sweden’s Anders Hard for the quad singles title. Shaw, winner of the Preston Indoor this time last year before the ITF 3 moved to its new home in Wrexham, moved closer to defending his ranking points after beating unseeded German Bianca Osterer 6-2, 7-5. Former world No.5 Hard produced a battling performance to defeat Korean second seed Kyu-Seung Kim 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
Whiley and USA’s Dana Mathewson face top seeds Hunt and Spaanstra in the women’s doubles final after both partnerships dominated their quarter-final and semi-final contests on Saturday.
Cotterill and James Shaw go into the quad doubles final against Kim and Rob Shaw.as top seeds. Meanwhile, Bailey and Cataldo face Dutch top seeds Rody de Bie and Spaargaren in the men’s doubles final after winning a deciding match tie-break in their semi-final.
Jordanne Whiley, Louise Hunt and Dermot Bailey maintain a strong British interest in the women’s and men’s singles going into Saturday’s third day of play at Wrexham Indoor after each secured straight sets wins on the second day of competition.
Whiley continued her comeback to international competition following maternity leave with a confident 6-0, 6-1 win over Japanese fifth seed Kanako Domori (JPN). Whiley’s next challenger is Dutch second seed Michaela Spaanstra, who ended the hopes of unseeded Swede Rebecka Bellander with a 6-0, 6-4 victory.
An all-British women’s final in Wrexham remains a possibility after fourth seed Hunt’s 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final win over Dutch eighth seed Donna Jansen ended Janssen’s hopes of following up her victory at the Wrexham ITF Futures tournament last October. Fourth seed Hunt plays German top seed Katharina Kruger for a place in the final. Hunt has winning form against Kruger, but the world No. 9 has been in fine form so far and for the second day in a row dropped just three games to win her quarter-final against Japan’s Shiori Funamizu 6-3, 6-0.
Bailey’s first full season as a full-time tennis player is progressing well so far after the current British No. 3 beat his doubles partner, world No. 22 and third seed Alexander Cataldo of Chile 6-2, 6-0 in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles. Bailey will now attempt to topple Dutch top seed Ruben Spaargaren, who took the opening set of his match against former world No. 1 Lauren Giammartini 6-0 before the Frenchman retired.
There was a thrilling conclusion to Takuya Miki’s quarter-final against fourth-seeded Frenchman Gaetan Menguy. Former world No. 6 Miki, who is making his return to action for the first time since contesting last year’s Preston Indoor, the forerunner to this week’s ITF 3 in Wrexham, prevailed 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(7). Next for Miki is a semi-final against French second seed Frederic Cattaneo, who defeated Dutchman Rody de Bie 63 75.
After two of the four seeds exited the quad singles on the opening day of play, both of the remaining top two seeds advanced with relative ease on Friday.
Canadian top seed Rob Shaw, returning to the UK to try and defend the ITF 3 Series ranking points he won this time last year at the event’s previous home in Preston, dropped his first two games of this year’s Wrexham tournament when beating Germany’s Marcus Laudan 6-1 6-1.
Shaw faces another German opponent in the last four after Bianca Osterer made it back-to-back wins over British opponents. Osterer’s latest victory saw Richard Green exit the tournament 6-0, 6-1.
While Belander went out of the women’s singles, Anders Hard maintained Swedish interest in the quad singles after the former world No. 5 eased past Nick Nobbe 6-0, 6-1 to dent the German challenge. Hard will play Korean second seed Kyu-Seung Kim next after Kim overcame a strong challenge from Brit Gary Cox to advance 6-3, 6-3.
While Saturday’s third day of competition in Wrexham also includes the men’s doubles and quad doubles semi-finals, two rounds of women’s doubles are also scheduled, with plenty of British interest still in all three doubles events.
Jordanne Whiley’s first match against an overseas opponent since Wimbledon 2017 ended in a superb 7-5, 6-4 victory over USA third seed Dana Mathewson as Britain’s 10-time Grand Slam champion reached the women’s singles quarter-finals on the first day of the new Wrexham Indoor ITF 3.
Thursday's first day of play ended with the quarter-finalists decided in each of the women's, women's and quad singles, with seeds bowing out early in each of the women's and quad events.
Whiley is joined in the last eight of the women’s singles by fellow Brit and fourth seed Louise Hunt, who battled her way to a thrilling 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(6) victory over Spain’s Lola Ochoa. Whiley, who returned to competition at December’s National Championships after becoming a mum for the first time in January 2018, next plays Japanese fifth seed Kanako Domori, Meanwhile, Hunt takes on Dutch eighth seed Donna Jansen. Jansen began her bid to try and follow up her victory at the Wrexham ITF Futures last October by beating Britain’s Valerie Fisher 61 61.
Aside from Hunt’s final set tiebreak, all other women’s singles matches on the opening day of play were completed in straight sets as German top seed Katharina Kruger set up a quarterfinal against Japan’s Shiori Fumamizu and Sweden’s Rebecka Bellander beat seventh seed Saki Takamuro to earn a meeting with Dutch second seed Michaela Spaanstra.
The only three set match in the men’s main draw singles went to Britain’s nly entrant in the event, Dermot Bailey. A two-time champion in the ITF Futures tournament held in Wrexham in October, Bailey beat Israel’s Adam Berdichevsky 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final against Chilean third seed Alexander Cataldo.
With straight sets wins for all the other men’s quarter-finalists, Dutch top seed Ruben Spaargaren will play former world No. 1 Lauren Giammartini of France in the last eight. Japan’s Takuya Miki will also face Gaetan Menguy of France and Rody de Bie of the Netherlands will play French second seed Frederic Cattaneo.
There were mixed fortunes for the Brits in the quad singles as Richard Green progressed to the quarterfinals courtesy of his 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Chinese Taipei’s Chu-Yin Huang. However, Germany’s Bianca Osterer ended any hope of an all-British quarterfinal after defeating fourth seed James Shaw 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Joining Green in the last eight of the quad singles is Gary Cox, who won his all-Brit first round contest against Alex de Styrcea 6-2, 6-0. Cox goes on to play Korean second seed Kyu-Seung Kim, who beat Antony Cotterill in two tie-breaks to again end prospects of a potential all-British quarter-final.
With two seeded players bowing out of the women singles, two seeds also went out in the quad singles. Alongside Shaw’s loss to Osterer, Sweden’s former world No. 5 Anders Hard beat Japanese third seed Mika Ishikawa 6-3, 6-1. Hard next plays Nick Nobbe, one of three German players who will contest the quad quarter-finals.
Ten-time Grand Slam champion and four-time Wimbledon champion Jordanne Whiley is among the world class stars headlining the star-studded entry for the new Wrexham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, which takes place this week, from Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 February.
The venue is no stranger to international wheelchair tennis having hosted the British Futures tournament for the past six years, but this week’s new event will see Wrexham welcome the most high-class field ever assembled for a wheelchair tennis event in Wales. A total of 72 players from 23 countries will feature in the draw, including a host of current and former world Top 10 ranked players.
Whiley is among those former Top 10 players as she plays her first ITF-sanctioned tournament since winning her fourth straight Wimbledon women’s doubles title in July 2017 and then giving birth to her first child in January 2018.
Two-time Paralympic bronze medallist Whiley, whose initial return to action following her maternity leave led to her fifth National Championships women’s singles title in December, said:
Whiley beat former three-time National Champion Lauren Jones to the title in Shrewsbury and Jones and two-time Paralympian Louise Hunt will lead the domestic challenge in the women’s singles in Wrexham this week, for which current world No. 9 Katharina Kruger of Germany is set to be top seed. Also among the entries will be Dutchwoman Donna Jansen, the women’s champion at the Futures event in Wrexham last October.
Players from the Netherlands, France, Chile and Australia head the entries for the men’s singles. They include Dutchman Ruben Spaargaren, the current world No.16, and former world No.1 Laurent Giammartini of France.
Leading the Brit entry in the men’s singles will be Dermot Bailey, a former two-time men’s singles champion at the Wrexham Futures tournament.
A strong international entry is also assembled for the quad singles, with Canada’s world No.11 Rob Shaw returning to the UK to try and defend ITF 3 Series ranking points he won this time last year at the event’s previous home in Preston.
Former National champion James Shaw and Rio Paralympian Antony Cotterill head the Brit challenge for the quad singles alongside former National champion Richard Green.
Players are eligible to compete in wheelchair tennis’s quad division if they have a permanent physical disability that results in significant loss of function in three or more extremities, while also fulfilling the sport’s minimum disability criteria.
Tournament Director Kirsty Thomson, said: “This is the start of a vitally important season for international wheelchair tennis as players begin to think about qualification for the Tokyo Paralympics. It’s extremely exciting for Wrexham to be hosting two international tournaments in such a big year and we are thrilled by the depth and quality of this year’s entry.
“Anyone who has yet to watch wheelchair tennis can expect an extremely high level of competition and I would encourage all local sports fans to come down and join us for free to enjoy the action.”
The Wrexham Indoor tournament forms part of the International Tennis Federation’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, and is first of seven world ranking wheelchair tennis tournaments to be held in Great Britain in 2019. When the sport returns to Wrexham in October for the newly renamed British Futures tournament, it will do so within yearlong qualification window for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Many of those competing in Wrexham this week, including all the top Brits, will be aiming to qualify for Tokyo and will therefore be looking to build a firm foundation ahead of the sport’s qualification window beginning in June.