Andy Lapthorne, Jordanne Whiley and Gordon Reid all booked their places in the semi-finals at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham on a rain-affected day at Nottingham Tennis Centre. The trio all came through tests in their quarter-finals on a good day for the Brits.
Last-year’s quad runner-up Lapthorne had to contend with a three hour rain delay during his match against Shraga Weingberg from Israel. However the world No.4 maintained his focus to come through comfortably 6-3, 6-1 and set up a semi-final clash with world No.2 and old rival David Wagner.
“I’m really happy with my match today, I played well. The rain delay was difficult and I needed to come out and finish the job well, which I did,” said Lapthorne. “It will be tough against David, the quad division is tough and there are a lot of players around at the moment so to make the semis is great and I’m really pleased.”
Defending women’s champion Jordanne Whiley had a long wait to get on court due to the rain. However it showed no ill-effects as she raced to the first set 6-3 against Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock. Ellerbrock battled hard though, and forced a decider after fighting back from 3-0 down in the second set. However, Whiley showed her class in the third set to power her way to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win and set up a re-match of last year’s semi-final against world No.1 Jiske Griffioen from the Netherlands.
“I’m glad to get the win and delighted to be through to the semis here. I dropped off in the second set so I just had to tell myself to step it up and get it together and that’s what I did. Matches between Sabine and me are always competitive and close. It’s important for me to do well here and send a message to people ahead of Rio.”
Wimbledon champion Reid faced Stefan Olsson, who he had beaten just over two weeks ago to claim his historic title at SW19. After a close first set the world No.2 stepped up the pace in the second to power to a 7-5, 6-3 win. He will now face Belgium’s Joachim Gerard for a place in the final.
“The first set was tough and it was tight, I was glad to get that one under my belt and then I upped my game in the second set,” said Reid. “Stefan is a tough opponent, we had a good battle at Wimbledon recently in the singles, but that didn’t have much bearing on today, it’s a different surface and a different game on hard. I’m really pleased to be through to the semi-finals.”
There was more good news for Britain as Wimbledon champions Reid and Alfie Hewett moved into the semi-finals, defeating the Swedish pairing of Olsson and Dan Wallin 6-4, 6-4. They will play third seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Michael Jeremiasz in the semi-finals.