Reid and Whiley reach Wimbledon wheelchair tennis singles semi-finals

Reid and Whiley reach Wimbledon wheelchair tennis singles semi-finals

Image caption: Gordon Reid celebrates his men's singles quarter-final victory at Wimbledon

Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley booked their places in the men’s and ladies’ singles semi-finals on a historic first day of wheelchair tennis singles matches on Thursday at Wimbledon.

US Open champion Whiley reached her fourth Grand Slam singles semi-final after a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 victory over fellow Brit Lucy Shuker.

Jordanne Whiley plays a backhand during her women's singles quarter-final at Wimbledon
Jordanne Whiley plays a backhand during her women’s singles quarter-final at Wimbledon

“It wasn’t pretty tennis today but I’m really pleased to get the win. I didn’t know what to expect from myself because I’ve only ever known doubles on grass so I’ve learnt a lot for tomorrow. I went out all guns blazing. Overall I’m really pleased and looking forward tomorrow which will be a tough match,”  said Whiley, who will now play world No.4 Aniek van Koot in Friday’s semi-finals.

Reid will face second seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium next after reaching the sixth Grand Slam singles semi-final of his career with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Nicolas Peifer.

World No.3 Reid never looked back after opening up a 3-0 first set lead and then won the last three games of the second set as the Australian Open champion and Roland Garros runner-up kept himself on course to make his third Grand Slam singles final of 2016.

“I’m really pleased to get the win today, Nico is a really tough opponent and on grass he is really quick,” said Reid. “I got off to a good start and my serve was working well. It’s brilliant to be back playing at Wimbledon, especially singles for the first time. I had fantastic support from the crowd and I’m looking forward to  tomorrow.”

On a mixed day for the Brits on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme, Alfie Hewett had a tough Grand Slam singles debut as he slipped to a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Gerard.

And Louise Hunt also had a tough time against reigning Roland Garros champion Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands, who won their women’s singles quarter-final 6-2, 6-0.

As well as Whiley and Reid’s singles semi-finals, Friday’s schedule also features the doubles semi-finals. Whiley and Japan’s Yui Kamiji will begin their campaign for a hat-trick of Wimbledon women’s doubles title with a contest against Hunt and Buis.

Shuker and Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock will face Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and van Koot whislt Hewett and Reid start their first Grand Slam men’s doubles event together with a semi-final against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Gerard.