Reid & Whiley make strong start to Doubles Masters campaign
Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley both made impressive starts to their doubles campaigns at the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters on Thursday in Mission Viejo, California.
However, world No.4 Reid will have to settle for a fifth place play-off in the men’s singles, while Andy Lapthorne will play for third place in the quad singles after both Brits slipped to defeat in their third and final round-robin matches.
Reid and Frenchman Stephane Houdet are top seeds for the men’s doubles and made a confident start with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Japanese duo Satoshi Saida and Takashi Sanada. Reid and Houdet, currently unbeaten as a partnership in three previous tournaments together, will now play Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda in their second of three pool matches. Gerard and Kunieda got the better of Brit Marc McCarroll and USA’s Stephen Welch 6-3, 6-2 in the other match in Pool 1 of the men’s doubles.
British No.1 Reid had earlier made a bold attempt at trying to become the first Brit to reach the men’s singles semi-finals at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, but was edged out by Argentina’s world No. 5 Gustavo Fernandez 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in their crucial final round-robin contest. Reid will now play French world No. 7 Michael Jeremiasz for fifth place.
“It’s great to get started with a confident win in the doubles after my disappointment at losing out in the singles in such a tight match against Gustavo,” said Reid. “Stephane was on the opposite side of the net to me in last year’s Doubles Masters final, so it’s nice to be pairing up with him this time after three tournaments wins since the end of 2012.”
In Pool 2 of the men’s doubles, David Phillipson is partnering Japan’s Yoshinobu Fujimoto and the first-time partnership had a tough opening challenge against three-time Doubles Masters champions Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink, with the Dutch duo earning a 6-2, 6-1 win. Phillipson and Fujimoto face Argentinian duo Guillermo Camusso and Fernandez later today in their second match.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon finalists and top seeds Whiley and Yui Kamiji of Japan earned a comfortable 6-4, 6-0 victory over Germany’s Katharina Kruger and Francisca Mardones of Chile in the first of their two women’s doubles pool matches. The pair will play Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa later today, when Lucy Shuker also begins her women’s doubles campaign alongside Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis.
Shuker and Buis, finalists in the Australian Open in January, will meet Dutch second seeds Jiske Griffioen and Sharon Walraven, who beat Britain’s Louise Hunt and Japan’s Miho Nijo 6-2, 6-2 in their opening doubles match.
World No. 7 Whiley and world No. 8 Shuker meet later today in their crucial women’s singles round-robin match, a contest that British No. 1 Whiley must win if she is to maintain hopes of going through to the semi-finals. Whiley’s progress will also depend on the outcome of the match between Ellerbrock and Buis.
Two-time NEC Masters finalist Lapthorne plays Taylor for third place in the quad singles later today, having already beaten the American in the round-robin phase of the competition. World No. 3 Lapthorne put up a fine first set effort against US Open champion and world No. 2 Lucas Sithole of South Africa in their final pool match, but Sithole eventually prevailed 7-5, 6-1 to reach the final.
Taylor and his compatriot David Wagner were on the opposite side of the net to Britain’s Antony Cotterill and Adam Field in the first set of pool matches in the quad doubles. The American top seeds and six-time Doubles Masters champions secured a 6-0, 6-1 victory, with Cotterill and Field now going on to play Canada’s Adrian Dieleman and Italy’s Antonio Raffaele later today.
A total of nine Brits from the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme are contesting the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo from 5 - 11 November.