Katherine Ashcroft, Matthew Chilvers, Michael Clarke, Alex Hopkinson and Aiden Leighton were among the local East Midlands players to win singles and doubles gold medals over the weekend at the Tennis Foundation’s Learning Disability Regional Midlands Tournament in Nottingham.
In total, nine players left Nottingham with singles and doubles gold medals after more than 50 athletes competed in 24 round-robin events, with players grouped according to their tennis ability.
Chilvers won both his matches with ease to win the gold medal in the men’s Group 3 singles, while Clarke made it two wins from two matches in the men’s Group 4 singles. One of Clarke’s two wins came in one of two tie-breaks for Elliot Caygill, who narrowly missed out on the silver medal after a 7-6(4) loss to James Jennings.
Chilvers and Clarke paired up to win gold in the Group 2 men’s doubles after securing two 4-1 wins.
Leighton made it three wins from three matches in the Group 5 men’s singles, including a 6-3 win over silver medallist Fraser Caygill. Leighton, a gold medallist at the last Special Olympics World Summer Games in Lose Angeles in 2015, also won doubles gold.
Joseph Eccles and Leighton gained more success for the local West Bridgford Tennis Club, when they joined forces to win the Group 3 men’s doubles. Eccles and Leighton dropped just one game to finish on top of the podium.
Oliver Beadle, a gold medallist in Los Angeles alongside Leighton, remained unbeaten in his three matches in Nottingham to win the men’s Group 1 singles gold medal. Meanwhile, Zach Brookes dropped just three games across his two matches to win the men’s Group 2 singles.
Jonathan Ross and Ryan Caven ended the weekend with singles and doubles gold medals, too. Both players dropped just five games apiece in their three matches, therefore winning the Group 6 and Group 7 men’s singles.
Ross won his doubles gold medal in one of two mixed doubles events. He partnered Lily Mills to win the Group 1 mixed doubles in exciting circumstances. All three doubles pairings in the event finished their matches with one win apiece. However, Ross and Mills had the best percentage of games won to games played to therefore win the gold medal.
Mills continued her sequence of gold medals in women’s singles events after she gained back-to-back 6-1 wins in the Group 1 women’s singles.
Hopkinson and Ashcroft’s two gold medals also came in singles and mixed doubles competition.
There were three successive wins for Hopkinson in the men’s Group 11 singles and back-to-back wins for Ashcroft in the Group 1 women’s singles. Meanwhile, they paired up to drop just two games to win the Group 2 mixed doubles gold medal.
Mathew Copley and Christopher Cook remained unbeaten in their three matches to win gold medals in the Group 8 and Group 12 singles.
Steven Uttley recorded another local victory in the men’s Group 10 singles after back-to-back 6-3, 6-3 match wins.
The Group 9 singles was a mixed event in which Lauren Waddell and Lucy Porteous took the gold and silver medals, respectively. Waddell edged two close matches against Porteous, a gold medallist at the World Summer Games in 2015, and Thomas Sewell. Meanwhile, Waddell’s 6-1 win over Mathew Brough ultimately decided the gold and silver medals.
With gold medals won in three women’s singles events in Nottingham, the Group 3 gold medal went to Emily Phillips. Phillips remained unbeaten in all her matches The closest of her three wins was a 6-4 victory over silver medallist Mary Nolan.
While a gold medal in the women’s singles narrowly eluded Nolan, Emma Lindsay and Laura Wells ensured doubles gold medals went back Yorkshire. Lindsay and Wells earned successive 4-2 wins to win the women’s doubles.
The Group 1 men’s doubles came to a thrilling climax. Gold medallists Joshua Kerr and Shain Lewis edged out silver medallists Beadle and Ronan Cacace in a tie-break, winning 5-4(5).
Scott Brown and Ryan Caven won another tie-break to decide the gold and silver medals in the Group 4 men’s doubles. Brown and Caven edged runners-up Copley and Jack Dickson 5-4(2) as Caven added to his Group 7 men’s singles gold medal.
Aiden Bennett and Dominic Hubner came out on top in the Group 5 men’s doubles. In another mixed event, Bennett and Hubner‘s toughest task in their three matches came against Porteous and Waddell. Bennett and Hubner edged the eventual bronze medallists 5-3.
There was also gold medal success for William Farrow and Cameron Long in the Group 6 men’s doubles as Farrow and Long remained unbeaten in their three matches.