James Shaw booked his place in the second round of the British Open Wheelchair Championships with victory over Germany’s Marcus Laudan at the Nottingham Tennis Centre (NTC) on Tuesday 23 July.
Shaw, who is from Nottingham and grew up training at the NTC, triumphed in three sets 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the first round of the Quad Singles at the LTA hard court event.
The 24-year-old flew out of the blocks on Centre Court and raced to a 3-0 lead before eventually claiming the first set in humid conditions. He lost his way in the second set, and was broken early as Laudan took control and looked well placed to go on and win.
But world no. 21 Shaw composed himself and grew in confidence in the early exchanges of a tight final set. After a nervy hold at 4-4, Shaw forced Laudan to serve to stay in the match and brought up match point with a powerful crosscourt forehand.
Another big return was too much for Laudan, whose miscue sealed the victory for Shaw, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Shaw, who is supported by the LTA’s World Class Performance Programme, plays fourth seed Heath Davidson in the second round on Wednesday.
He said: “It was a really difficult match today and Marcus was just on it and hardly making any errors. The heat is obviously a factor – we’re not used to it in Nottingham – but it’s just something you’ve got to deal with and I think I did that well today. Obviously the next round will be difficult and is the next step up, but I played some good tennis today and I’m feeling confident.
“It’s amazing to be back here. I got a brilliant reception and I love hearing people cheering me on so I’d like to thank everyone who came. Hopefully we’ll get good crowds here all week.”
Kettering’s Dermot Bailey progressed to the second round of the Men’s Singles tournament with a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 win over Ben Weekes of Australia. The 25-year-old faces number two seed and Wimbledon finalist Shingo Kunieda in round two.
He said: “I surprised myself a bit today to be honest. Ben’s a good player so I knew I’d have to be on it from the start. I served well and managed to get away in both sets which was really pleasing. I didn’t think the heat was too bad today to be honest, but it’s supposed to be roasting later in the week which might be a bit uncomfortable. Now I’ve got a great opportunity to test myself against one of the best in the world which I’m really excited about.”
Elsewhere Scott Smith, Antony Cotterill and Richard Green all lost their Quad Singles first round matches. Smith fared better in the Quad Doubles, partnering Max Laudan in their first round win, but Bailey and Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki, and Green and partner Shaw were knocked out.
British seeds Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker are all set to play their first round Men’s and Women’s Singles matches on Wednesday, along with Andy Lapthorne in the Men’s Quad Singles.
LTA has invested in making the event free for all spectators. To book tickets visit www.lta.org.uk. Follow the action on Twitter (@the_LTA) and Instagram (@LTA).