Wimbledon champions Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley both made smooth progress at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on the first day’s play at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Fellow Brits Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill joined them in progressing. Lapthorne and Burdekin booked their places in the quad singles quarter-finals, with Cotterill earning his chance to play for a place in the last eight.
Reid began his bid for his first British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships men’s singles title with a confident 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Tom Egberink.
‘”It was a good match against Tom, we’re good friends and my game suits his well. It’s nice to be back here in Nottingham and to get a win under my belt coming off the back off Wimbledon and being on the grass. I would love to win the title here, it would be my first title here and would mean a lot especially heading into Rio,” said world No.2 Reid, who will now play Japan’s Takuya Miki for a place in the quarter-finals.
Reid’s bid for his first singles crown at the Highfields venue comes exactly 10 years since he marked his British Open debut with victory over Bingham’s Dave Phillipson in the junior boys’ singles and second draw singles finals in 2006. With Reid and Phillipson both heading for their third Paralympic Games in Rio, Phillipson just contests the men’s doubles this week as he returns to competition after injury.
Defending champion Whiley made equally as serene progress into the quarter-finals of the women’s draw with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Germany’s Katharina Kruger.
“It was a solid win and I’m glad to get it done. It’s nice to be on the hard courts as it suits my game, I can use my speed around the court and I feel like I did that well. Coming in as defending champion is a new experience for me and does add some pressure but I’m looking forward to the week and am glad to start off with a good win.”
Lapthorne, Burdekin and Cotterill made it a good day for Britain’s quads. Lapthorne and Cotterill wrapped up comfortable straight sets wins, with Cotterill now set to play American world No.2 David Wagner in a bid to join Lapthorne and Burdekin the quarter-finals. Burdekin had a tougher test against Australian Heath Davidson, battling back from a set down to prevail 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
There was disappointment for fellow Brits Alfie Hewett, Lucy Shuker, Louise Hunt, Dermot Bailey and Lauren Jones, who all saw their British Open challenges come to an end in the first round.