There was a shock on the first day of the 2014 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in London, Great Britain, on Wednesday (26 November), as Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley beat world No. 1 and defending champion, Japan’s Yui Kamiji, in straight sets.
Whiley and Kamiji, as doubles partners, made history this year by becoming the first non-Dutch pairing to win every Grand Slam in a calendar year, but when facing each other, it was world No. 6 Whiley who came out on top, winning 6-2, 6-3.
“Today I was really focused and that was definitely the best singles match of my career, so it was a good start to the tournament,” said Whiley to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
“My serve was atrocious today but I was quite lucky that Yui’s serve wasn’t on it as well, so I need to work on that for tomorrow.
“Me and Yui are best friends, so people might think it’s quite difficult [beating her], but business is business and she knows that and I know that.
“I still haven’t made the semis yet so I’ll be coming out tomorrow fighting, I still need another win at least so that’s my challenge now.”
Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock also made a good start to her tournament, as she beat the Netherlands’ Sharon Walraven 7-5, 6-1.
In an all Dutch affair, world No.2 Jiske Griffioen got her campaign off to the perfect start with a dominant 6-3, 6-1, victory over Marjolein Buis.
And more success followed for the Netherlands as Aniek Van Koot survived an early scare against South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
In the bid to retain his men’s title, Japan’s Shingo Kunieda got off to the perfect start as he breezed past the Netherlands’ Maikel Scheffers 6-1, 6-3.
More Japanese success followed as Takashi Sanada, the lowest ranked player coming in to the competition, beat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez in a tense 7-5, 7-5 victory.
Belgium’s Joachim Gerard turned round a first set loss (5-7, 7-5, 7-5) against Great Britain’s Gordon Reid to disappoint the home fans and get his tournament off to a winning start.
And there was another upset in the final men’s game of the day, as France’s Nicholas Peifer beat compatriot Stephane Houdet 6-4, 6-3
In the quad competition, the USA’s reigning champion David Wagner beat South Africa’s Lucas Sithole in a commanding straight sets victory (6-1, 6-1)
To the disappointment of the home fans, Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne slipped to defeat against Australia’s Dylan Alcott in a three-set encounter (6-2, 4-6, 4-6).
On Thursday (27 November), the women’s competition sees Kamiji face Walraven, Whiley play Ellerbrock, Griffioen against Van Koot and Montjane versus Buis.
In the men’s competition, Kamiji will continue his quest for another master’s title against compatriot Sanada, Fernandez will face Scheffers, Reid comes up against Houdet and Gerard will play Peifer.
And in the quad competition, Sithole will face Lapthorne and Wagner comes up against Alcott.
For more information, visit the International Tennis Federation website