Nick Smelt, the 2015 National School Games singles bronze medallist, gained the main draw singles title over the weekend at the Gosling National Wheelchair Tennis Series in Welwyn Garden City.
Gosling Sports Park hosted the fifth tournament of ten around the country in the 2016 Tennis Foundation National Wheelchair Tennis Series.
Lawrence Blomfield and Ben Crabbe both secured comfortable straight sets wins to join the main draw singles quarter-final line-up before Smelt secured the first of two 4-0, 4-0 victories to join Blomfield, Geoff Ellis and Tony Heslop in the semi-finals.
Ellis had defeated Crabbe 4-2, 4-1 to book his place in the last four and he then survived a much tougher challenge from second seed Heslop to advance to the final 5-3, 1-4, (1-0) after a deciding match tie-break.
By comparison, Smelt reached the final with his second 4-0, 4-0 win as he raced past Blomfield, but Smelt had by far his greatest challenge against Ellis, eventually winning a deciding match tie-break for a 4-0, 1-4, (1-0) victory that secured him the title.
The Novice singles victory went to Suzanne Edwards, who gained 6-0 and 6-1 wins, respectively, in her two round-robin matches against Graham Day and Stewart Newton to complete the event unbeaten. Newton’s match against Day proved to be somewhat closer, but Newton secured second place with a 6-3 win.
There was another round-robin contest to decide the doubles event. After going head-to-head in the main draw singles semi-finals, Ellis and Heslop paired up to win all four of their doubles matches, their biggest challenges come in 6-3 wins over both Crabbe and Gary Cox and Blomfield and Smelt.
Crabbe and Cox also gained a crucial 6-3 win over Blomfield and Smelt to earn runners-up honours in the doubles.
The next National Wheelchair Tennis Series Tournament is at The Shrewsbury Club on 15-17 July. Full details here.