Bingham’s two-time Paralympian David Phillipson made a successful return to action over the weekend, winning the men’s doubles and finishing runner-up in the men’s singles at the Sheffield Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Britain’s third world ranking tournament of the year.
Phillipson, who was born with Brittle Bone Disease, has had a planned break from the sport since reaching the men’s singles semi-finals and finishing runner-up in the men’s doubles at October’s Nottingham Indoors, in order for scheduled surgery to replace rods in his his left leg.
After surgery in early November Phillipson returned to training at the end of January and the first two months of 2013 have seen him swap the British No. 2 ranking with Middlesex’s Marc McCarroll. But Phillipson has moved one place back towards McCarroll in this week’s rankings after progressing to the singles final in Sheffield.
Phillipson opened his 2013 campaign with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Dutchman Pim Palmen and went onto drop just three games in his quarter-final and semi-finals matches against fellow Brits Josh Steels and Alfie. His bid for the title was only thwarted by British No.4 and second seed Alex Jewitt, who made home Sheffield advantage count to edge the final 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
“It’s certainly great to be back playing and getting back into my Tennis Foundation Performance Programe, but I’m disappointed I didn’t win the final,” said Phillipson. “I don’t feel like I played as well as I have been in training, but it’s the match practice I need and it will come as my confidence grows. “
But there was better news for Phillipson in the men’s doubles as he partnered Hewett, the world’s No. 1 ranked junior player to victory. The top seeds dropped just four games en route to Sunday’s final and produced a confident display to ease past second seeds Josh Steels and Paul Stewart 6-0, 6-3 to clinch the title.
“It’s the first time I’ve played doubles with Alfie and he’s a really good young player. I played well against him in the semis of the singles, so it was nice to win the doubles with him a day later and I look forward to playing with him again in the future,” added Phillipson, whose next NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour event is scheduled to be in Israel at the end of April.