Esah Hayat claimed his first National Deaf Tennis senior singles title as part of a hat-trick of victories at the 2016 Championships at Loughborough University over the weekend.
Phoebe Suthers also ended the tournament with two event wins, beating Valerie Copenhagen in the women’s singles decider and partnering Hayat to victory in the mixed doubles.
With Suthers and Copenhagen challenging the male players in one main draw singles event this year, Suthers joined Hayat in advancing to the semi-finals after 6-0, 6-0 first round wins for both. Bradley Wilson also beat Copenhagen 6-4, 6-0 to set up a last four meeting against top seed and 13-time men’s singles National champion Peter Willcox.
Thereafter, second seed Hayat dropped his first two games to Suthers before progressing to the final 6-0, 6-2. Meanwhile Willcox sealed a 6-0, 6-0 semi-final win over Wilson. The final proved to be a much closer affair as 14-year-old Hayat snatched a first set tie-break and he went on to take the title 7-6(2), 6-2.
Hayat and Willcox duly paired up to justify their top billing in the men’s doubles, defeating Toby Clifton and Wilson 6-0, 6-0. In the mixed doubles, Hayat and Suthers followed up their European Championships junior mixed doubles tittle earlier this year by winning their first senior title together after beating Willcox and Copenhagen 6-2, 6-0.
The women’s singles play-off between Suthers and Copenhagen ended in Suthers gaining a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
The junior singles produced a dominant performance from Wilf Jenkins, who won tw of his four round-robin matches 4-0, 4-0 and dropped just two games in each of his other two matches. Jenkins beat George Kilcullen 4-2 4-0 and Maisie O’Shea, 4-0, 4-2, but the contest for runners-up honours produced a thrilling deciding match tie-break as O’Shea edged out Kilcullen 3-5, 5-4(5), (13-11).