Four players on the Tennis Foundation’s Deaf Tennis Performance Programme have been selected for the DeaflympicsGB tennis team at the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey.
Jack Clifton (21 – Purley, Surrey)
Toby Clifton (15 – Purley, Surrey)
Lewis Fletcher (31 – Burderop, Wiltshire)
Esah Hayat (15 – Finchley, London)
Keep up-to-date with the GB progress here. Tennis takes place from 19-28 July.
Day 5 – 23/07/17
Hopes of a medal for the DeaflympicsGB tennis team came to an end on Sunday in Samsun as Jack Clifton and Lewis Fletcher bowed out of the men’s doubles in three close sets.
Clifton and Fletcher battled back from 4-2 down against Russia’s Egor Panyushkin and Iaroslav Revin to take the opening set to a tie-break. The Brits then built on a 4-1 lead to take the second set. However, despite again coming back from 4-1 down in the decider, Clifton and Fletcher, the 2016 European Deaf Tennis Championships bronze medallists, were unable to extend their Deaflympic campaign as Panyushkin and Revin advanced to the semis 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4.
Day 4 – 22/07/17
The Great Britain men’s singles challenge came to an end on the tennis courts on the fourth day of competition in Samsun. With 15th seed Jack Clifton bidding to upset the odds to book a place in the quarter-finals, Clifton’s campaign came to an end with a 6-2, 6-1 loss top seed and 2013 Deaflympics men’s singles gold medallist Gabor Mathe of Hungary.
Hopes of a tennis medal for DeaflympicsGB now continue with Jack Clifton and Lewis Fletcher looking ahead to their men’s doubles quarter-final against Russia.
Day 3 – 21/07/17
Jack Clifton and Lewis Fletcher were the only Brits in action on the third day of Deaflympics tennis competition in Samsun. The fourth-seeded Brits opened their men’s doubles challenge with a 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Japan’s Tetsuya Matsushita and Kohta Sasajima.
Clifton and Fletcher play Russian fifth seeds Egor Panyushkin and Iaroslav Revin in the quarter-finals. Victory would, therefore, guarantee them a place in the semi-finals and, at the least, the chance to play-off for a medal.
Day 2 – 20/07/17
Jack Clifton made a fine start to his Samsun Deaflympics campaign with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Necati Gormez of Turkey to reach the men’s singles last 16.
Clifton, the 15th seed, will now face Hungarian top seed Gabor Mathe on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, it was a tough day for the Brits. Fifteen-year-old Esah Hayat made a bold attempt to stretch French fourth seed Vincent Novelli to a third and deciding set. Hayat gained an early break to lead Novelli 2-0 in the second set of their second round match and had a set point when serving for the set at 5-4. However, Novelli’s experience eventually saw him through to a 6-3, 7-6(4) win.
Lewis Fletcher faced a tough opponent as he began this third Deaflympics. Fletcher bowed out to the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Smedek, a player who competes on the ITF Junior circuit, 6-0, 6-2.
Jack Clifton and Fletcher, last year’s European Championships bronze medallists, begin their men’s doubles challenge on Friday. The fourth seeds will play Tetsuya Matsushita and Kohta Sasajima of Japan.
However, Jack’s 15-year-old brother Toby Clifton and Esah Hayat saw their men’s doubles challenge come to an end in their debut in the event. The young British duo bowed out to the more experienced Chinese partnership of Lihua Hu and Zengbao Yang 6-0, 6-1.
Day 1 – 19/07/17
There were mixed fortunes for the Brits on the first day of tennis competition in Samsun. Esah Hayat made a confident Deaflympics debut, beating China’s Zenbao Yang 6-2, 6-4. Hayat progresses to a men’s singles second round match against French fourth seed Vincent Novelli.
However, fellow 15-year-old Toby Cifton found the going tough on his Deaflympics debut. Clifton bowed out to Israel’s Gabriel Lutsky 6-0, 6-2. But Toby’s still got doubles to come partnering Hayat. The two Brits won the boys’ doubles silver medal at the 2016 European Deaf Tennis Championships.
Draw News – 18/07/17
Deaflympics debutants Esah Hayat and Toby Clifton will be the first two Brits in action on Wednesday morning for their men’s singles first round matches.
Hayat, 15, boys’ singles gold medallist at the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships in Nottingham in 2015, will play Zengbao Yang of China in his first ever Deaflympics match. Yang is a former finalist at the British Deaf Open.
Clifton, also 15, will play Israel’s Gabriel Lutsky, the boys’ singles silver medallist at last year’s European Deaf Tennis Championships.
Toby’s brother Jack Clifton and Lewis Fletcher are both seeded for the men’s singles and have first round byes. Jack Clifton is 15th seed and begins his campaign later in the event against Necati Gormez or Turkey. Lewis Fletcher is 10th seed and he will begin his third Deaflympics against the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Smedek, the boys’ singles gold medallist at the 2016 European Championships.
Jack Clifton and Fletcher, last year’s European Championships men’s doubles bronze medalists, are fourth seeds for their Deaflympics doubles challenge. They have a bye before facing Japan’s Tetsuya Matsushita and Kohta Sasajima later in the week for a place in the quarter-finals.
Toby Clifton and Hayat also pair up for the men’s doubles in Samsun after winning the boys’ doubles silver medal together at last year’s European Championships. The British duo play Lihua Hu and Yang of China in their opening match.
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