Whiley nets second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros
by Marshall Thomas
Britain’s Jordanne Whiley won the second Grand Slam title of her career today at Roland Garros after partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji to win the women’s doubles wheelchair tennis title, beating Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 7-6(3), 3-6, (10-8) in a thrilling final.
It’s the second successive Grand Slam title for the Whiley and Kamiji, who won the women’s doubles at the Australian Open in January after ending 2013 by winning the Doubles Masters in California, USA.
The second seeds took a 5-3 lead in Paris and came within two points of taking the first set in both the tenth and 12th games, but Griffioen and van Koot, who won all four Grand Slam titles in 2013, forced a tie-break. However, Whiley and Kamiji didn’t look back after taking a 4-2 lead in the tie-break and converted the first of three set points.
Whiley and Kamiji went on to race to a 3-0 second set lead, but defending champions Griffioen and van Koot forced the deciding match tie-break. The British-Japanese duo took a 4-1 lead in the decider, before Griffioen and van Koot drew level at 6-6 and 8-8, with Whiley having to recover from having one of the straps that helps her stability in her tennis wheelchair break at 8-8. However, she and Kamiji ultimately held firm to clinch their first match point and seal a fine victory.
“I can’t believe it, I’m so pleased to win our second Grand Slam title together,” said Whiley. “It was such a tense final and the break at 8-8 in the match tie-break after my strap broke allowed me to calm my nerves, so it must have been fate.
“After being a member of the GB team that finished with a silver medal behind the Netherlands last weekend at the World Team Cup, this is a fabulous way to end two very big weeks and it’s another major success helped by the amazing support I get from the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport through National Lottery funding.“