In this new weekly feature we’ll round up the results from our British wheelchair tennis stars competing around the globe.
USN Bolton Arena – ITF 2 Series
There were four tournaments on the ITF Wheelchair Tour last week but the Brits were very much enjoying their home comforts as they were only present at the ITF 2 Series event in Bolton.
Of the 27 women competing in the singles draw, 9 were flying the British flag. Seeds, Jordanne Whiley , Lucy Shuker  and Louise Hunt  received a bye through the opening round but the others had to battle it out for their place in the next round. Andrea Weston sadly withdrew before her match whilst Helen Bond was comfortably defeated by the 7th seed. Sarah Gaisford was also dispatched by a seed as she tumbled out to German 6th seed Katharina Kruger in a cruel double-bagel. However, there was success for Luz Esperanza Merry who won the final set 6-0 to defeat a player just six places below her in the rankings. In the most exciting tie of the first round, Valerie Fisher defeated Debbie Brazier in an all-British affair.
The second round went exactly as expected, with all eight seeds advancing without a deciding set in sight. Merry was unable to recover from her tough first round encounter and was forced to withdraw whilst Whiley dished out a double-bagel to Fisher who faced her second British opponent. Shuker and Hunt both came through their matches with relative ease.
As with the second round, the quarter-finals provided no shocks with seeds 1 to 4 all advancing to the semi-finals without breaking a sweat. Hunt fell to the 2nd seed but both Shuker and Whiley advanced, conceding just eight games between them. In keeping with the rest of the tournament it was the 1st and 2nd seeds that advanced to the final. Whiley would play the Dutch 2nd seed, Buis, who defeated Shuker in the semis.
The final saw only the third three set match of the entire women’s singles event and was a physical battle for both. Whiley lost the first set 6-2 but recovered in style to bagel her Dutch opponent in the second set. The third was a tighter affair with a tie-break needed to separate the pair. In the end though it was the Brit who emerged victorious, sealing the title with a 7-2 victory in the tie-break.
— Jordanne Whiley MBE (@jordannejoyce92) February 20, 2016
The two singles finalists would team up to take the top seeding as Whiley and Buis stormed through to the final dropping just one game. They met the only other two British players to make it through round one, Louise Hunt and Lucy Shuker . The third seeds reached the final without dropping a set, including upsetting the second seeds in the semi-finals. However, due to the 1st seeds being in the singles final they withdrew and so Hunt and Shuker claimed the title.
Helen Bond and Debbie Brazier, Luz Esperanza Merry and her partner, and Valerie Fisher and her partner were also in the draw but all fell in the opening round.
The Quads singles event would see seven Brits take to the court, with Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin, and Antony Cotterill taking the top three seeds respectively. James Shaw, Richard Green, Ashley Davis and Laura Swetman were also in the draw but all failed to claim a victory.
Both Lapthorne and Burdekin advanced unchallenged to the semi-finals but there was a shock for 3rd seed Cotterill who was forced to withdraw from his second round clash against Alfredo Di Cosmo tied at one set of piece.
There was another shock as Burdekin fell in a tough three setter in which he seemingly ran out of gas in the decisive set, falling 6-0. Lapthorne, though, lived up to his seeding, beating the fifth seed by a double breadstick.
In the final, Lapthorne got off to a terrible start, losing the first set 6-1. However, the top seed refused to give up and on the day that marked 200 days until the start of the Rio Paralympic Games, he surged back to win the next two sets 6-4 and 6-0 and claim his first Bolton Indoors title.
— Tennis Foundation (@TennisFndation) February 20, 2016
The doubles was a story of walkovers for the Brits in the bottom half of the draw as Ashley Davis and James Shaw defeated Antony Cotterill and his partner on a walkover in the second round before being defeated themselves via a walkover in the quarter-finals!
At least in the top half of the draw the two Brits got to play a match as Richard Green and his Dutch partner defeated Laura Swetman and her Romanian partner before suffering defeat at the hands of the top seeds and eventual champions.
An interesting story from the Quad Doubles was the no-show of usual doubles pairing Lapthorne and Burdekin. Apprantly the pair were caught out by a rule change regarding the application time. Certainly a mistake they will not make again.
— Jamie Burdekin (@JamieBurdekin1) February 19, 2016
Great Britain’s man-of-the-moment, Gordon Reid, was not in attendance but there were still four Brits in the main draw. Alfie Hewitt  and Marc McCarroll  received a bye because of their ranking but first round victories for Dermot Bailey and David Phillipson meant that all the Brits were still standing in the second round.
Victory for Bailey earnt him a second round encounter with the top seed, Tom Egberink. Egberink was in no mood to mess around, comfortably dispatching Bailey 6-1 6-0. Hewitt and McCarroll got the wins, as expected, but the real shock was Phillipson who produced a sensational display to dispatch the fourth seed Frederic Cattaneo.
Phillipson’s reward was a re-match of last week’s final against Daniel Caverzaschi which he lost. Unfortunately, the result was the same this time around, as the rising Spaniard claimed another victory. Hewitt and McCarroll were both facing ties against higher seeded players and the gulf in class showed. McCarroll was resoundingly beaten but Hewett but up a strong fight against the top seed, going down 9-7 in a deciding set tie-break.
Four Brits were in doubles action with Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson seeded 3rd while Dermot Bailey and Tony Knappett were both with other overseas partners. With the 3rd seeds receiving a bye, the other two both had incredibly tight matches. Bailey and his Spanish partner had their chances but just lost a championship tie-break 8-10. However, a championship tie-break swung the right way for Knappett and Swede Stefan Olsson who claimed it 10-7.
Courtesy of a bye and a walkover, McCarroll and Phillipson were able to reach the semi-finals without even picking up a racket. Knappett was not able to join them though as he fell to the number one seeds and eventual champions. The challenge of the third seeds was ended in the semis as they lost an agonising deciding tie-break, 12-10.
With only two futures events next week we are unlikely to see any Brits making the journey to Argentina or Sri Lanka but it won’t be long until they are back in action.