Scott Smith clinched his third main draw singles title of 2016 in the Tennis Foundation’s National Wheelchair Tennis Series as the Loughborough and Shrewsbury champion added victory at the inaugural National Series event held at Liverpool Tennis Centre.
With 17 players from the length and breadth of Britain competing in the singles and doubles events in Liverpool, top seed Keith Thom moved into the main draw singles semi-finals with a 4-0, 4-0 win over Gary Cox. Meanwhile John Lambert, the most experienced player in the draw, came through a tough opener against Greg Shea 5-3, 4-2.
Nick Smelt, winner of Gosling Sports Park’s National Wheelchair Tennis Series event, and Smith, both advanced to the main draw semi-finals after walkovers. Smith went on to defeat Lambert for the third time this year with a 4-0, 5-3 win in the last four and Thom survived a first set tie-break to overcome Smelt 5-4(2), 4-2. Thom went on to come from 4-1 down to get to within a game of Smith in the second set of the final, but Smith regained the momentum to close out the final 6-1, 6-3.
Smith also added the main draw doubles title as he and Lambert made it back-to-back doubles victories following their triumph in Shrewsbury. The duo won both their two round-robin matches with ease, defeating Cox and Thom 4-0, 4-0 and Shea and Smelt 4-1, 4-1.
Shahzad Afzal, Helen Bond and Sam Eardley all made comfortable progress to the semi-finals of the second draw singles. Debbie Brazier came through a tough first set against Nat Lowe-Cordingley to alto make it to the last four 5-3(4), 4-2, but Afzal made it successive 4-1, 4-0 victories when he won their last four contest.
Eardley produced another solid performance for a 4-1, 4-2 semi-final win against Bond. He then took the opening set of the final against Afzal, but Afzal raced through the second set to force the deciding match tie-break and eventually prevailed to take the second draw singles 3-6, 6-1, (10-8).
Bond and Brazier and Val Fisher and Caroline Macdonald booked their places in the second draw doubles final with relative ease.
Having won their semi-final without dropping a game Bond and Brazier made the better start to a thrilling final and edged a first set tie-break. However, Fisher and Macdonald ultimately proved more than equal to the task and they came through in a deciding match tie-break to land the spoils 6-7(5), 6-4, (10-4).
The first singles event of the weekend to be decided was the Novice singles as AJ Pingram comfortably took the honours after winning both of his round-robin matches against Tabitha Fung and Michael Pill 4-0, 4-0.