McCarroll upsets world No. 7 at 25th British Open
by Marshall Thomas
British No.2 Marc McCarroll secured the outstanding result on the second day of the 25th British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre when he defeated Japan’s world No.7 Takuya Miki to reach Thursday’s men’s singles quarter-finals.
The British Open is one of six events to have Super Series status, the highest tier of tournament on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, outside of the Grand Slams.
McCarroll ensured his place in the last eight of the British Open for the first time, while also knocking the first seeded player out of this year’s tournament, when he overcame Miki 2-6, 7-6(6) for his fourth career win over the Japanese player, but his first this year.
“It’s a big win for me as it’s the first time I’ve beaten a top eight player and a player now playing at Grand Slams, so I’ve really pleased with today’s performance,” said McCarroll. “I made a slow start and maybe gave him a bit too much respect, but I refocused and made a good start to the second set and was able to play my game. If I can play my own game I know I can compete against the top ten.”
McCarroll will now play world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan after the remaining seven seeds all reached the quarter-finals, including British No.1 and world No.3 Gordon Reid, who produced a polished performance to beat Sweden’s former world No.2 Stefan Olsson 6-1, 6-0. Reid takes on world No. 9 Nicolas Piefer of France for a place in the semifinals.
Local Nottinghamshire player David Phillipson came close to making it three Brits in the men’s quarter-finals, but eventually bowed out 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to Dutch two-time British Open champion Maikel Scheffers, who now faces Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, with world No.2 Stephane Houdet of France playing defending champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium in a rematch of the 2013 final.
With all eight seeds advancing to the women’s quarter-finals, world No.5 Jordanne Whiley raced through her all-British contest against Val Fisher 6-0, 6-0. The British No. 1’s first match since partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles title has earned her a quarter-final against Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot.
“It will be tough against Aniek but all the pressure will be on her,” said Whiley. “I’m really hoping that I can go in and play some good tennis because I’ve been working on a few things with my game.”
Van Koot booked her place in the last eight after her 6-3, 6-1 win over British No.3 Louise Hunt. British No.2 and world No.10 Lucy Shuker also bowed out to Dutch opposition, as world No.4 Jiske Griffioen progressed 6-1, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final against her compatriot Marjolein Buis.
Japan’s Kanako Domori beat the first world top 10 player to go out of the women’s singles, overcoming eighth seed and world No.9 Katharina Kruger 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to deny Kruger of an all-German quarter-final against world No.3 Sabine Ellerbrock. World No.1 Kamiji and South Africa’s world No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane contest the other quarter-final.
Brits Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill will all feature in the quad singles quarter-finals, with world No.3 Lapthorne and world No.5 Burdekin set to meet afters securing straight sets wins over Italy’s Alberto Corradi and Jerome de Meyere of France respectively.
Cotterill beat Spain’s Victor Garcia Asensio 6-3, 6-4 to book a meeting with South Africa’s defending champion Lucas Sithole in the last eight, while world No.1 David Wagner faces fellow American David Buck and their compatriot Greg Hasterok plays Australian fourth seed Dylan Alcott.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the British Open is a crucial tournament for the world’s leading men’s, women’s and quad players aiming to gain enough ranking points to qualify for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end singles championship, which takes places at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on 26 – 30 November.
Entry to the 25th British Open is free for all spectators. Play starts at 10.00am on Thursday, 17th July.