Seeds make early progress at 25th British Open in Nottingham

It was a comfortable opening day for the seeded men’s players on Tuesday (15 July) as the 25th British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships got underway at Nottingham Tennis Centre, with the leading Brits, the world No. 1 and the defending champion all among those to ease into Wednesday’s second round. 16 Jul 2014
Joachim Gerard

Belgium's Joachim Gerard won the men's singles title at the 2013 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

ⒸBritish Tennis

The British Open is one of six events to have Super Series status, the highest tier of tournament on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, outside of the Grand Slams.

The British Open is one of six events to have Super Series status, the highest tier of tournament on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, outside of the Grand Slams.

British No. 1 and world No. 3 Gordon Reid will face Sweden’s former world No. 2 Stefan Olsson on Wednesday for a place in the men’s quarter-finals after defeating Canada’s Philippe Bedard 6-0, 6-0. Reid will continue his challenge for a second Super Series title of the season against Olsson, having won his first career Super Series at the Sydney International in January.

“It was a good start and I didn’t have to do anything too special to win today, but Stefan’s going to be a tougher opponent,” said Reid. “He’s on his way back into the sport after a break and is a good player, but I’ve beaten him the last four times we’ve played, including here at the British Open in 2012 and then the London 2012 Paralympics.”

Olsson secured arguably the biggest result of the day after edging world No. 15 ranked Frenchman Frederic Cattaneo 6-4, 6-4.

Marc McCarroll beat fellow Brit Dermot Bailey 6-2, 6-0, while local Nottinghamshire player David Phillipson defeated Poland’s Jerzy Kulik on a good day for Britain’s top three ranked players. Japan’s world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda raced to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Brit Steve Crompton and reigning British Open champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium also defeated British opposition with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Paul Stewart.

British No. 2 and world No. 10 Lucy Shuker also made a comfortable start in the women’s singles after overcoming Russia’s Viktoriia Lvova 6-2, 6-1.

“I had a solid start today against a very good opponent,” said Shuker. “She’s the world No. 1 junior and hits a very good ball, but I played sensible tennis and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week and the challenges ahead.”

British No. 3 Louise Hunt added to the home success after beating compatriot Debbie Brazier 6-0, 6-0.

The only match of the day in any of the main draw singles events to go to a third and deciding set ended with Charlotte Famin of France beating the USA’s Kaitlyn Verfuerth 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3.

All the seeded players in the women’s singles event begin their campaign on Wednesday, including world No. 5 and recent Wimbledon doubles champion Jordanne Whiley, who takes on fellow Brit Val Fisher.

The start of the quad singles also included victory for Britain’s Ian Payne, who beat Sophie Fraioli of France 6-3, 6-1. Payne, Israel’s Patrick Ben Uriel and Alberto Corradi of Italy all progress to meet seeded opposition in the quad singles.

Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the British Open is a crucial tournament for the world’s leading men’s, women’s and quad players aiming to gain enough ranking points to qualify for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end singles championship, which takes places at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on 26 – 30 November.

Entry to the 25th British Open is free for all spectators. Play starts at 9.30am on Wednesday, 16 July.