Houdet, Whiley lift first British Open titlesDespite both dropping their first sets in the finals, Houdet and Whiley came back to win their respective Super Series event. 20 Jul 2015
“I am used to just being a quarter or semi-finalist at Super Series events like this, and now I am here on finals day and I have just won the tournament.”
France’s Stephane Houdet lifted his first British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships title after defeating Belgium’s Joachim Gerard in the men’s singles finals on Sunday (20 July).
It was also a first for Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley, who won her first Super Series singles title on the penultimate day of the British Open, defeating the Netherlands’ Aniek van Koot of in the women’s singles final on Saturday (19 July).
Meanwhile for Lucas Sithole, Saturday’s victory was his second quad singles title at Nottingham Tennis Centre in three years. The South African fought back from a set down to upset home favourite Andy Lapthorne, who entered as No. 2 in the world, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.
“Despite losing the first set, I had confidence that I could win because the way I have played all week was fantastic,” world No. 4 Sithole said. “(The British Open), this was my best tennis ever. The guys pushed me to play at my highest limit.”
Houdet also recovered from a first-set loss and raced through the second against the world No. 4 Gerard. Houdet battled back from 5-3 down in the deciding set and saved a match point at 5-4 to eventually clinch a 6-7(6), 6-1, 7-6(5) victory.
"(Sunday) morning when I saw the rain, I was afraid to play another match at the British Open indoors. It was a dream to get outside and try to win the title outdoors,” said Houdet.
"I do not know why, but when I woke up after (last week’s) Wimbledon on Monday I was thinking it was going to be mine. For the first time it was so sunny and windy. It is the first time that I thought I could really win this title."
The day after beating Van Koot’s compatriot and world No. 1 Jiske Griffioen for just the second time in her career, 23-year-old world No. 6 Whiley bounced back from dropping the opening set to claim victory.
Whiley put pressure on Van Koot, as with the Dutch world No. 3 served a double fault on match point to give Whiley the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
“I am used to just being a quarter or semi-finalist at Super Series events like this, and now I am here on finals day and I have just won the tournament,” Whiley said.
In the quad doubles, American top seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner defeated Brits Jamie Burdekin and Lapthorne 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 for the title. The Dutch pairing of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot claimed the women’s doubles title, cruising past Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and Russia’s Kgothatso Montjane, 6-0, 6-3. The British combo of Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid held off France’s duo of Michael Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer for the men’s doubles title.
For complete results of the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships, visit the event website.