Follow the Great Britain visually impaired tennis team in L’Alfàs del Pi, Spain as they contest the very first International Blind Tennis Tournament.
Nikhil Nair, Yvette Priestley, David Deas, Wendy Glasper, Chris Baily and Brenda Cassell are the first ever visually impaired players to represent Great Britain on the international stage.
Chris Baily and Brenda Cassell completed an historic week for the Great Britain blind and visually impaired tennis team in Spain with winner and runner-up honours in their respective events.
Baily won the the men’s B3 singles and Cassell finished runner-up in the women’s B2 singles on the last day of competition at the inaugural International Blind Tennis Tournament.
Baily defeated Poland’s Grzegorz Korpinski 2-4, 4-2, (10-5) after a deciding match tie-break in the men’s B3 singles final. He therefore became Great Britain’s first ever champion in international blind tennis competition.
After a nervous first set the Uckfield player settled in the second set, moving his opponent from side to side to win some long rallies. Baily was always ahead in the match tie-break and completed his historic win on his own serve.
Cassell faced Chizuko Hara of Japan in the women’s B2 singles final, with Hara winning 4-1, 4-2. Hara controlled some long points to win the opening set and despite Cassell playing some great points in the second set the Japanese player’s consistency earned her the win.
Yvette Priestley also ended her tournament on a winning note to take victory in the women’s B1 singles consolation event.
After completing her round-robin matches earlier in the week Priestley returned to court to beat both Tina Lowe of Ireland and Martina Dubiel of Poland by a score of 4-1. In both matches Priestley served superbly and made some great returns.
Chris Baily and Brenda Cassell added more history to the British challenge in Spain this week as they became the first Great Britain visually impaired tennis team players to reach finals on the international stage.
After making it through his round-robin pool without dropping a game Baily won his B3 men’s singles semi-final against Ireland’s Willem Roode 6-3.
In a fast-paced and energetic match both players produced some fantastic shots at key times in one of the best matches of the tournament so far. However, Bailey gained the crucial break of serve to set up a meeting with Grzegorz Korpinski of Poland in Thursday’s final.
Brenda Cassell also went into the knockout stages of the women’s B2 singles having not lost a game in her pool matches. She maintained her perfect record with a clinical 6-0 quarter-final victory over Mayumi Kita.
Cassell dropped her first games of the week in her semi-final, but still held on to beat Adrianna Sanchez of Mexico 6-3. After going two games down Cassell finished with a flourish. She won five games in a row and ended with a good serve to book her place in Thursday’s women’s B2 singles final against Chizuko Hara.
Wendy Glasper’s bid to also reach the women’s B2 singles final started well when she beat Marta Hiniesto 6-2 in her quarter-final. Glasper controlled the match with great accuracy and spin, but her winning sequence came to an end in her semi-final, which Hara won 6-0 to set up her meeting with Cassell.
Glasper’s competition came to an end with a tense bronze medal play-off against Sanchez. In a match that ebbed and flowed Glasper managed to come back from 4-1 down to force a tie-break.
However, Sanchez found the shots that mattered at the right time to win 7-6(3), with Glasper finishing her international debut as the fourth best B2 female in the world
After making it through his round-robin pool David Deas saw his men’s B2 singles challenge come to an end in his quarter-final. In an entertaining contest Deas lost out to South Korea’s Bye Ongin 6-3.
After becoming the first Great Britain player to win a match on the international stage earlier this week, Nikhil Nair‘s men’s B1 singles challenge came to an end with a 6-1 loss against Ono of Japan, who returned a high percentage of the Brit’s serves.
It was a highly successful second day for the B2 and B3 members of the Great Britain visually impaired tennis team on Tuesday with 11 wins out of 12 round-robin matches, including one walkover, in Spain.
Wendy Glasper reeled off four games in succession to beat Singapore’s Chris Tan 4-1, therefore recording the first ever victory for a female Great Britain player at international level in blind and visually impaired tennis.
Glasper had a tough time against Adrianna Sanchez in her second B2 women’s singles matches with the Mexican player winning 4-0. However, Glasper finished her opening day of international competition strongly, beating Ireland’s Claire Whelan 4-0.
Brenda Cassell had a super day, winning all three of her matches 4-0 to top her round-robin pool. Cassell defeated Rosion Demody of Ireland, Poland’s Kamila Wroblewska and Genemarie Richards of Australia.
David Deas followed suit in his B2 men’s singles pool, also winning all three of his round-robin matches without dropping a game. Deas beat Jonny McInerney of Ireland, Germany’s Dennis Scherer and Ju Sang Kim of South Korea to complete a fantastic day for Britain’s B2 players.
It was also a perfect day for Chris Baily in the B3 men’s singles after 4-0 victories against his two Australian opponents, Michael Fogarti and Adam Fayad.
Baily shook off a few errors in the opening game against Fayad to earn a comprehensive victory and top spot in his round-robin pool. Baily was scheduled to meet Candido Alessandro of Italy in his second match of the day, but Candido had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury.
After winning two of his three round-robin B1 men’s singles matches on Monday’s first day of play Nikhil Nair slipped to a narrow loss in his final pool contest against Alejandro Zacares of Spain.
Zacares made some important returns of serve towards the end of match to prevail 5-3.
There was another close finish to Yvette Priestley’s last B1 women’s singles pool match against Mexico’s Anna Arenas, with Arenas winning an exceptionally close contest 5-4(3).
Former National champion Nair made it two out of three wins on the opening day of B1 men’s singles competition. His fourth pool match is scheduled for Tuesday’s second day of play.
With Great Britain’s players experiencing the level of international competitors in person for the first time, Nair narrowly slipped to a 5-4(5) loss to Japan’s Toshio Oshiro from Japan after a deciding tie-break.
Nair went on to claim the first ever victory for a Great Britain player in an international blind tennis tournament, earning a dominant 4-0 win against Italy’s Enzo Petrini in his second match after a succession of return winners.
The Cambridge 41-year-old edged a tie-break in his third match of the day. Nair beat Germany’s Robert Jaurichm, winning 5-4 (6) after serving an ace on sudden-death point.
Yvette Priestley’s first B1 women’s singles match ended in a 5-3 loss to Germany’s Chris Kaplan. The German player found her best tennis when needed. Priestley also continues her round-robin contests on Tuesday.
The B2 and B3 matches begin on Tuesday. Brenda Cassell, Wendy Glasper and David Deas contest B2 events and Chris Baily will be in action in B3 competition.