Nicolas Peifer of France and Diede de Groot of the Netherlands won the men’s and women’s singles titles on a dramatic last day of the 2015 Nottingham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament when both singles finals went to three sets.
Peifer came from 3-0 down to take the opening set of the men’s singles final against Britain’s defending champion and world No. 4 Gordon Reid before Reid raced the through the second set for the loss of just the second game. However, Peifer built a 3-0 lead in the decider and went on to complete a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory.
“I’ve very happy to win here in Nottingham. I played a patient game today and made sure I kept the ball in court and when I thought had the chances to go for the winners I went for it. It is very good for my confidence ahead of the Masters,” said world No. 3 Peifer, runner-up at the 2014 NEC Masters, the ITF’s season-end wheelchair tennis singles championship.
“I was hitting some good shots in the first set but just didn’t play too smart at times and gave him balls that he likes and he took advantage,” said Reid. “I played a lot smarter in the second set, but then he just took his chances when he had them in the decider and he played a good match. That said, I’m happy with much of my play and this is a good warm up for the Masters. That’s the one I really want to win.”
World No.9 de Groot, who started the tournament unseeded, beat top seed Brit Jordanne Whiley 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to clinch her first ITF 1 Series singles title.
Whiley came from 2-0 down to lead the women’s final for the first time at 4-3 before reeling off the last two games of the opening set.
However de Groot twice came from two games adrift herself in the second set and took the last three games to force the decider.
The 18-year-old Dutchwoman, who had already beaten the world No.5 and world No.6 en route to the final, made what proved to be a decisive breakthrough to lead the final set 5-3. Whiley saved three match points from 40-0 down to narrow the deficit, but it was not enough as de Groot converted her next match point for one last break of serve to seal the biggest singles success of her career.
“To be honest I still can’t really believe it,” said de Groot. “On my way home I will be really happy. I didn’t really have any expectations this week, I just wanted to play really good and be satisfied with how I’d played when I got home and I can certainly be very satisfied now."
“I didn’t quite know what to expect today apart from the fact that Diede’s had a great week,” said Whiley. “I’ve never played her before and she played really well again today and I wasn’t able to take my chances. I’ll need to take the chances I get at the Masters in a couple of weeks and everything is now geared to performing at my best there.”
The men’s doubles title went to Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Stefan Olsson of Sweden, who beat French third seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Stephane Houdet 6-1, 6-1 in the last final of the tournament.
Peifer, Reid and Whiley are among 13 players who were contesting the Nottingham Indoor who will now head to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London for the 2015 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters on 2-6 December.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the Nottingham Indoor is an ITF 1 Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and was held at Nottingham Tennis Centre. The tournament is supported by Nottingham City Council. For more information please visit www.wheelchairtennis.org.uk.
Tickets for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters start from just £2 for community groups and schools up to a maximum of £15 for the weekend semi-finals and finals. All kids can come along for a quid and there is an Activity Zone full of entertainment for all the family. Tickets can be purchased at www.wheelchairtennismasters.com.