The men’s singles quarter-finalists, mixed doubles quarter-finalists and women’s doubles semi-finalists were all decided on the third day of the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre, with two British partnerships advancing to the last eight of the mixed doubles.
Lewis Fletcher and Beth Simmons beat French duo Maxime Sanchez and Lucie Boulestreau 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the mixed doubles and go on to face the third seeds, American brother and sister duo Daniel and Emily Hangstefer, who won the silver medal at the 2013 Deaflympic Games in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Fletcher and Simmons are joined in the last eight by Jack Clifton and Bethany Brookes, who had a walkover in their scheduled second round match against the Russian fifth seeds Egor Panyushkin and Anastasia Chumak. Clifton and Brookes will now face German top seeds Urs Breitenberger and Heike Albrecht, the 2008 and 2012 European champions and 2013 Deaflympics mixed doubles gold medallists.
“I’m very happy to come through comfortably today in straight sets, especially after our match was switched to inside courts due to the rain,” said Fletcher. “It was a great way to end the day after the disappointment of going out of the men’s singles.”
Earlier in the day 15th seed Fletcher had three set points in the second set of his men’s singles third round contest against fourth seed Vincent Novelli, but the Frenchman eventually went on to win 6-2, 7-6(1) to reach the quarter-finals.
All of the top eight men’s seeds are through to the quarter-finals after they each won their last 16 matches in straight sets.
They include 2013 Deaflympics silver medallist and reigning European champion Mikael Laurent of France, who won the closest of the matches in the last 16, fending off a strong challenge from Daniel Hangstefer.
British hopes of a singles medal ended when 12th seed Peter Wilcox slipped to a 6-1, 6-4 loss to German seventh seed Sebastian Schaffer. Schaffer will now play second seed Laurent, while 2013 Deaflympic gold medallist and European silver medallist Gabor Mathe of Hungary will face sixth seed Breitenberger.
Austria’s Mario Kargl, the bronze medallist at the last Deaflympics in 2013, Australia’s Glen Flindell and Russia’s Egor Panyushkin complete the men’s quarter-final line-up.
Meanwhile, the USA, Chinese Taipei and German medallists in the women’s doubles at the Deaflympics in Sofia in 2013 are all through to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the World Championships, along with Spanish sisters Beatriz and Raquel Villamandos-Lorenzo, who are the third seeds in Nottingham.
Thursday’s fourth day of play in Nottingham will include the start of the World Deaf Youth Tennis Championships, featuring boys’ singles and girls’ singles competitions. The event includes Brits Esah Hayat, Toby Clifton and Phoebe Suthers.
Thursday’s action will also feature the men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals, the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles and the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles. Jack Clifton and Fletcher carry British hopes into the last eight of the men’s doubles.
More than 70 players from 20 countries are taking part in the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, in association with UK Deaf Sport, the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships is sanctioned by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). For more details visit www.worlddeaftennischamps.co.uk.