Top seed Alex Jewitt completed Wrexham Wheelchair Tennis Tournament with both the men’s singles and doubles titles, while Luz Esperanza Merry followed up winning the women’s consolation singles in 2013 by winning her first senior international women’s singles title on the last day of play this year.
In a rematch of the 2013 men’s singles final, two-time Paralympian Jewitt beat second seed Ed Holt 6-2, 6-3 to retain his Wrexham title and win his second ITF Futures Series singles event of 2014 in Britain after triumphing in his home city of Sheffield earlier in the year. Second seeds Holt and Jewiitt defeated top seeds Dermot Bailey and Paul Stewart 6-4, 6-3 in the men’s doubles final as Holt followed up his doubles victory in Wrexham in 2013 partnering Stewart.
Thirteen-year-old Merry beat Debbie Brazier 6-1, 6-1 to clinch victory in the decisive women’s singles round robin match, the top seed ending the tournament having dropped a total of just three games in her three round-robin matches.
Alex Jewitt and Ed Holt will meet in the men’s singles final at Wrexham Tennis Centre for the second successive year after the top two seeds eased through their semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Luz Esperanza Merry and Debbie Brazier will contest the title decider in the women’s singles after remaining unbeaten in their round-robin matches to date. Brazier will be aiming for her second title of the tournament after partnering Helen Bond to win the women’s doubles decider on the second day of competition at the ITF Futures event.
Top seed Jewitt started his second day with his toughest challenge to date, eventually making his experience tell in his quarter-final against Dermot Bailey to seal a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory. Jewitt went on to beat fourth seed Paul Stewart 6-0, 6-1 to move to within one match of what he hopes will be a successful title defence. Holt reached his second successive final in Wrexham after a confident 6-1, 6-2 win over Dutch third seed Pim Palmen.
Merry made it two wins from two matches in the women’s singles when the top seed swept past Bond 6-1, 6-0. After her three set win over Bond on the opening day, Brazier maintained her unbeaten record after defeating Laura Swetman 6-0, 6-0.
Later in the day Brazier and Bond claimed the women’s doubles title with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Merry and Swetman.
Top seeds Bailey and Stewart booked their place in the men’s doubles final after defeating Scott Smith and Keith Thom 6-1, 6-2. Bailey and Stewart will play second seeds Holt and Jewitt as the singles finalists team up for another title decider.
The 2013 finalists both made fine starts to this year’s tournament as the Wrexham Wheelchair Tennis Tournament got underway with last year’s runner-up Ed Holt booking one of the first two places in the men’s singles semi-finals.
Second seed Holt dropped just two games in his quarter-final against Ireland’s Gareth Greene, having beaten fellow Brit Greg Shea 6-0, 6-0 in his first round match. Holt will play Dutch third seed Pim Palmen for a place in the last four, with Palmen having started his tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 victory before going on to survive a tough quarter-final against Scot Keith Thom 6-3, 6-3.
Reigning champion Alex Jewitt started his title defence with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over another experienced Brit, John Lambert, ahead of facing the up-and-coming Dermot Bailey in the last eight. Fourth seed Paul Stewart plays former GB international Tony Knappett in the remaining quarter-final.
Top seed Luz Esperanza made a confident start to her women’s singles campaign as the 13-year-old beat Laura Swetman 6-0, 6-0. Debbie Brazier needed all her experience to win the day’s other women’s round robin match, eventually battling back to clinch a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Helen Bond. Merry plays Bond and Brazier takes on Swetman on Saturday’s second day of action, which begins at 10.00am.
Last year’s men’s doubles champions are in opposite halves of the draw with different partners this year. Stewart partners Bailey, while Holt teams up with Jewitt. Both seeded partnerships secured straight set wins to reach the semi-finals with relative ease.
Reigning champion Alex Jewitt and Britain’s top ranked junior girls’ player Luz Esperanza Merry head the entries for this weekend’s ITF Futures Series Wrexham Wheelchair Tennis Tournament as Wales hosts a UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event for the eleventh successive year from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th October.
It is the second successive year that Wrexham Tennis Centre hosts the international tournament supported by the Tennis Foundation and Tennis Wales, which is the sixth of eight British world ranking eventsin 2014.
Two-time Paralympian Jewitt will line-up alongside 2013 runner-up Ed Holt, a member of Great Britain’s bronze medal-winning men’s team at the World Team Cup in May this year, as all four of last year’s men’s semi-finalists return to Wrexham.
Paul Stewart, who partnered Holt to win the men’s doubles in Wrexham last October, Scott Smith, the winner of the men’s singles at the 2012 National Wheelchair Tennis Championships and British-based Dutchman Pim Palmen will also be others to look out for at this weekend’s tournament. The vastly experienced John Lambert and Tony Knappett are others who will be looking to launch strong challenges.
Thirteen-year-old Merry, the world No. 5 ranked junior, returns to Wrexham to challenge for the women’s singles title after winning the women’s consolation singles in 2013, during her first season playing competitive wheelchair tennis. Merry’s strongest challenge is likely to come from Welsh-based player Debbie Brazier. Brazier, from Newport, won the women’s singles at the 2012 National Wheelchair Tennis Championships and has a wealth of experience in international competition.
“We are delighted to be bringing international wheelchair tennis back to Wrexham Tennis Centre after a highly successful and exciting tournament last year,” said Tournament Director Andrew Roberts.
“For anyone who has never watched wheelchair tennis I would encourage you to come and watch some tremendous sport and I hope it will encourage more and more people to get involved with opportunities across the North Wales disability tennis network supported by the Tennis Foundation and Tennis Wales.”
The Wrexham tournament will give players the chance to play for ranking points and get valuabe match practice in ahead of the ITF 1 Series Nottingham Indoor, Britain’s penultimate world ranking event of the year, which takes place at Nottingham Tennis Centre on 19-23 November, organised by the Tennis Foundation.
The world’s elite will then contest the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the year-end championships for the top singles players, at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, on 26-30 November.
Entry to the Wrexham Wheelchair Tennis Tournament is FREE for spectators on all three days of competition. For more information and updates during the tournament please visit www.wrexhamwheelchair.org.uk.
Tickets for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters are available at the tournament website www.wheelchairtennismasters.com.