Day one of the inaugural wheelchair tennis singles event received the Royal stamp of approval when none other than the Duchess of Cambridge appeared on the Centre Court balcony to cheer on Brits Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid in their respective matches on Court 17.
Hosted by big wheelchair tennis supporters Phillip Brook, Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, and his wife Gill, the Duchess was also joined by the Countess of Wessex as the players got used to competing in singles on the grass for the first time.
Earlier in the day it had been Jordanne Whiley who created history by becoming the first British player to notch up a singles win when she got the better of compatriot and fellow London 2012 bronze medallist Lucy Shuker. Youngster Alfie Hewett also had a tough day losing out to Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, who won the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters title in spectacular fashion at the prestigious year-end event the Tennis Foundation hosts on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in December (tickets are now on sale for 2016 so snap yours up now!)[insert link].
But the Duchess had something to cheer when Reid booked his place in the semis after an impressive straight sets win over Frenchman Nicolas Peifer in front of a rowdy crowd cheering the world no.3 on. We also had the pleasure of hosting a number of wheelchair tennis players from the GB Invictus Games team, who did their country proud in Orlando earlier this year.
Day two will take the intensity to a whole new level with singles and doubles final places up for grabs and who knows who will be cheering them on today! Make sure you keep following all the Tennis Foundation’s social media accounts to find out the latest news and behind the scenes info.