Four Brits on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme – Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Lucy Shuker and Antony Cotterill – contested this week’s ITF 1 Melbourne Open, the last wheelchair tennis tournament before the Australian Open.
Brit interest in the Melbourne Open came to a close on Friday as Alfie Hewett bowed out of the men’s singles and Hewett and Reid and Lucy Shuker and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane saw their respective men’s and women’s doubles campaigns come to an end.
Hewett was unable to repeat his first career win over world No. 3 Stephane Houdet at last month’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters as the Frenchman advanced to the men’s singles final 6-3, 6-1.
Hewett and Reid beat Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Sweden’s Stefan Olsson in last week’s semi-finals at the Sydney International Open, but again, were unable to repeat that performance as Gerard and Olsson won their last four contest in Melbourne 6-2, 6-3.
Shuker and Montjane were involved in a thrilling conclusion to their women’s doubles semi-final against Hui Min Huang and Zhenzhen Zhu, but it was the Chinese duo who had the edge in the match tiebreak to prevail 67(8) 64 (10-3).
Hewett, Reid and Lucy Shuker now head to next week’s Australian Open from 24 – 27 January where they will be joined by Andy Lapthorne.
Antony Cotterill’s hopes of winning a quad singles consolation draw for the second successive week came to and end in the final of this week’s consolation in Melbourne when he was beaten 6-2, 6-0 by Japan’s Koji Sugeno.
Alfie Hewett takes British hopes into Friday’s men’s singles semi-finals at the Melbourne Open after winning one of just 10 matches scheduled on Thursday due to the high temperatures in Melbourne.
Hewett will play French third seed Stephane Houdet for the first time since he secured his maiden career win over Houdet at December’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters. World No.2 Hewett defeated Houdet’s compatriot and fifth seed Nicolas Peifer 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
However, Gordon Reid’s bid to reach the last four came to an end against Sweden’s Stefan Olsson, last year’s Wimbledon champion, who booked his place in the semi-finals 6-4, 6-4. Hewett and Reid pair up for Friday’s men’s doubles semi-finals, with Lucy Shuker and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane also in doubles semi-final action on Friday.
Antony Cotterill’s title bid came to an end on Thursday. Cotterill and Australia’s Heath Davidson slipped to a 6-1, 2-6, (11-9) loss to Japanese pairing Shota Kawano and Kuji Sugeno after a deciding match tie-break. Cotterill is still in contention in the quad consolation singles.
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid dropped just seven games between them as they opened their Melbourne Open campaigns and advanced to the men’s singles quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Later in the day Hewett and Reid also paired up to reach the men’s doubles semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the women’s doubles will be the focus now for Lucy Shuker after she bowed out of the women’s singles in her second three-set match in successive days.
Hewett plays French fifth seed Nicolas Peifer for a place in last four after the world No.2 defeated South Africa’s Evans Maripa 63 60. Reid began his Melbourne challenge by beating China’s Chao Du 6-4, 6-0. Fourth seed Reid next faces reigning Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson.
After finishing runners-up in the men’s doubles at last week’s Super Series tournament in Sydney, Hewett and Reid are again top seeds this week in Melbourne. They started their latest doubles title bid with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Japan’s Daisuke Arai and Australia’s Keegan Oh-Chee. Hewett and Reid play third seeds Joachim Gerard and Olsson next as the Brits seek to reach their second doubles final of 2018.
After defeating third seed Marjolein Buis in three sets on the opening day of women’s singles competition world No. 7 Shuker also took South African world No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane to a deciding set on Wednesday, but Shuker was denied a place in the last four as Montjane prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Antony Cotterill is due to continue his challenge in Melbourne on Thursday when he partners Australia’s Heath Davidson in the quad doubles semi-finals.
Shuker got the tournament off to a fantastic start, beating Dutch world No. 5 and third seed Marjolein Buis 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. World No. 6 Shuker, who last beat Buis, to reach the semi-finals of last year’s Australian Open, next plays South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane for a place in the quarter-finals. After winning the first women’s double title of the year last week in Sydney with Japan’s Yui Kamiji, Shuker partners Montjane in doubles this week in Melbourne. They have a first round bye.
Antony Cotterill’s second and last singles campaign in Australia this year came to an end after the toughest of first round draws against world No.1 David Wagner. Wagner won their opening match 6-0, 6-4. Cotterill and Australia’s Heath Davidson are second seeds for the quad doubles. They face Japan’s Shota Kawano and Koji Sugeno later in the week.
While Shuker faces Montjane on Wednesday’s second day of play, Alfie Hewett and Gordon are also in action as they begin their singles and doubles challenges. Sydney Super Series finalist and second seed Hewett plays South Africa’s Evans Maripa. Fourth seed Reid takes on China’s Chao Du as both Brits bid for a place in the quarter-finals.
Top seeds for the men’s doubles, Hewett and Reid play Japan’s Daisuke Arai and Australia’s Keegan Oh-Chee for a place in the semi-finals.