The wheelchair tennis action got underway at Rio 2016 on Friday (9 September) with 64 players showcasing the best of the sport.
Three divisions kicked off the opening day’s play – men’s singles, quad singles and women’s doubles – as spectators enjoyed an entertaining first round of action.
Quad singles action was in abundance on day one as the top seeds were in action with eight quality matches across the Olympic Tennis Centre.
Third-seed Lucas Sithole did not waste any time on Court Eight as he saw off Shota Kawano of Japan 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets. The opening set only lasted 21 minutes as the third seed begin proceedings on the outside court.
Nick Taylor battled past Great Britain’s Antony Cotterill in a high-quality match, whilst fellow Brit Jamie Burdekin was also beaten in the first round as Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva won in a deciding set.
Dylan Alcott showed his class on Court Two as he breezed past Israel’s Shraga Weinberg 6-0, 6-0 in the only double-bagel win of the day.
Number-two seed and multi Paralympic medallist David Wagner battled past Itai Erenlib 6-4, 6-4, whilst Andy Lapthorne made sure all the seeds progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Italy’s Alberto Corradi.
In the men’s singles, the first match points of the opening day went to Brazilian Daniel Rodrigues on Centre Court. The 29-year-old wrapped up the win in an hour and five minutes as he beat Chile’s Robinson Mendez in front of the cheering home support.
Great Britain’s men got off to a successful start in the singles competition as all three men progressed to round two.
Marc McCarroll got the ball rolling as he overcame Fabian Mazzei of Italy 7-5, 6-3 before Paralympic debutant Alfie Hewett beat Abu Samah Borhan with a thrilling 6-0, 6-1 performance.
David Phillipson then capped off the Brit’s singles day with another 6-0, 6-1 victory as he was victorious over Philippe Bedard.
Hewett said he had made “a perfect start”. “The match went exactly how I planned it,” he said. “I’m really happy with how I played. I thought my overall game was really good.
“I lost a bit of focus towards the end but I think that is totally normal, but I did well to regain that and finish the job off.”
There was also a notable victory for France’s Michael Jeremiasz. The doubles gold medallist from 2008 is seeded 16th for the Games and displayed all his experience as he dispatched Stefanos Diamantis 6-0, 6-3.
• Don’t miss our interview with Australian wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott as the former wheelchair basketball player looks to add a second gold medal to his collection.