Britain’s Jordanne Whiley won her first Super Series singles title today when she beat Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the women’s final at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Meanwhile, South’s Africa’s Lucas Sithole won his second British Open quad singles title as Andy Lapthorne finished runner-up and Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid claimed another British success in the men’s doubles final.
The day after beating van Koot’s countrywoman and world No. 1 Jiske Griffioen for just the second time in her career, 23-year-old world No.6 Whiley bounced back from dropping the opening set against world No.3 van Koot to claim her first singles title at one of the sport’s six most important tournaments outside of the Grand Slams.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m used to just being a quarter or semi-finalist at Super Series events like this and now I’m here on finals day and I’ve just won the tournament,” Whiley said.
“Today I hope I proved to myself and other players that I’m a contender for the singles and leading up to Rio next year a contender for gold as well. For so long I’ve been wanting to prove myself in singles but it hasn’t quite worked out,” added Whiley, a six-time Grand Slam doubles champion who won her second Wimbledon title last weekend partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence from this tournament but I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and my game to take into the US open. I really pushed myself. I’m not in the best form, I’ve said that all week, and I think that is what makes it a little more special, because when I am on form imagine what I can do. I’m so grateful to all my team and for the Tennis Foundation support and National Lottery funding from UK Sport funding that helps me to prepare and achieve results such as this.”
Also on the penultimate day of play Andy Lapthorne finished runner-up in the quad singles final as South Africa’s Lucas Sithole won his second British Open title in three years.
World No.3 Lapthorne led world No.4 Sithole by a set and 4-1 before Sithole fought back, winning 1-6 7-5 6-4 to regain the British Open title he won for first time in 2013.
“The wind was really disturbing in the first set, but then I knew what I had to do in the second set. I just changed tactics and moved in to take time away from my opponent,” said Sithole.
“Despite losing the first set I had confidence that I could win because the way I have played all week was fantastic. This week this was my best tennis ever. The guys pushed me to play at my highest limit.”
Sunday’s last day of play in Nottingham will see world No.2 Stephane Houdet of France play Belgium’s 2013 British Open champion in the men’s singles final.
Houdet beat fellow Frenchman Nicolas Peifer 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in his semi-final, while world No.4 Gerard defeated Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez 5-7, 6-0, 6-3.
Hewett won the first Super Series title of his career as the 17-year-old world No.1 junior partnered Reid to a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over French second seeds Michael Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer. The third seeds ended the tournament having beaten both of the top two seeded partnerships in Nottingham.
Meanwhile, Jamie Burdekin and Lapthorne beat Japan’s Shota Kawano and Mitsuteru Moroishi 7-5, 6-2 to reach Sunday’s quad doubles final against American top seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner.
The day’s play ended with another victory for Lapthorne as he partnered Shuker to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over the USA’s Nick Taylor and Dana Mathewson in the mxed doubles final.