Pim Palmen and Charlotte Fairbank secured victories in the men’s and women’s singles at Taunton Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, the second event in the Tennis Foundation’s National Wheelchair Tennis Series for 2016.
Palmen completed the weekend with a brace titles after victory in the doubles, partnering Steve Metcalfe, while Ebony Court won the novice singles after a deciding match tie-break.
Six of the 12 men’s main draw singles matches went to deciding match tie-breaks, with Ashley Davis making a fine recovery to beat Dave Berridge 0-4, 4 4-2, (10-4) and Geoff Ellis defeating Martin French 4-2, 3-5 (10-7) to join Tony Tibbs, Tony Heslop and Greg Shea in all advancing to the quarter-finals.
Two of the four seeds went out in the last eight as Heslop clinched a thrilling victory in the first of two contests he won in deciding match tie-breaks as he edged out third seed Steve Crompton 5-4, 3-5, (10-5). Ellis also accounted for fourth seed Tony Tibbs 4-2, 5-4(5), while second seed Steve Metcalfe had a tough opening match after his first round bye, but just proved the stronger to beat Shea 3-5, 5-3, (10-5).
Another hotly contested match-up saw Heslop come from behind before sealing his semi-final against Metcalfe 4-5, 4-1, (10-6). But by comparison Palmen’s passage to the final was relatively straightforward as he dropped just five games in his first two matches and he continued to impress in the final after beating Heslop 6-3, 6-0.
The women’s singles produced a fascinating three-way round-robin contest, with Andrea Weston involved in two deciding match tie-breaks before eventually finishing runner-up to Fairbank.
Weston edged out Sarah Gaisford in one of her two matches, but Fairbank clinched her head-to-head against Weston 3-6, 6-3, (10-4) to add to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Gaisford, thereby winning the Taunton women’s singles event for the second successive year.
Fairbank, Weston and Gaisford joined the male players for the doubles event and Fairbank and her doubles partner Heslop reached the semi-finals, but it was top seeds Metcalfe and Palmen took the title, beating second seeds Crompton and Shea 6-2, 6-1 in the final
Three players contested the novice singles in a round-robin competition, with Court and Roland Crothers playing the decisive match – and it turned out to be an exciting encounter, with Court emerging victorious 4-1, 3-5, (10-5) after another match tie-break. Find out more about the National Series here.