David Phillipson and James Shaw earned local success on the opening day of the Nottingham Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, reaching the second round of the men’s singles and the quarter-finals of the quad singles respectively.
Phillipson goes in search of a first career win over French world No.2 and top seed Stephane Houdet on Thursday’s second day of play after a routine 6-0, 6-0 first-round win over Italy’s Salvatore Caputo.
“I was striking the ball well and feel like I’m playing really well at the moment. I was trying to give him as few points as possible, but I don’t think he’s been playing that long so it was a difficult match in one sense and I’m pleased with how I kept my concentration all the way through,” said Bingham’s British No.4.
“I’ve played Houdet before but not for a long time, so I will be concentrating on my own game and keeping my playing patterns and trying not to go for too much and giving points away.”
Shaw also had a comfortable introduction to the ITF 1 Series event in the quad singles, beating fellow Brit Ashley Davis 6-0, 6-0. Shaw’s second successive British opponent will be world No.6 Jamie Burdekin
In one of the matches of the day and the last match on court on Wednesday, Burdekin edged out fellow Brit Antonhy Cotterill 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Just over a year on from joining Phillipson and Burdekin among the players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme, Ruddington 20-year-old Shaw is more than happy with the progress he is making.
“I’ve halved my world ranking this year and I’m getting closer to the top 10 players all the time and as I climb then more and more players want to play doubles with you. For instance, I’m playing doubles this week with Lucas Sithole, the British Open quad singles champion here in Nottingham in July,” said Shaw. “It’s exciting, as was being asked to play my first World Team up for Great Britain earlier in the year.”
The only minor upset on the first day of competition came in the women’s singles as world No. 15 Charlotte Famin of France beat South African world No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane for the first time in a tour event, Famin prevailing 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, the men’s singles first round matches included a fascinating match-up between Britain’s world No.1 junior Alfie Hewett and French former men’s world No.1 Michael Jeremiasz. Jeremiasz eventually won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Thursday’s second day of play sees US Open champion Jordanne Whiley begin her women’s singles challenge against fellow Brit Lauren Jones, with the world No.4 bidding to add the Nottingham Indoor title to the British Open title she won on the outdoor courts at Nottingham Tennis Centre in July.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Gordon Reid begins his men’s singles title defence against Frederic Cattaneo of France and quad singles top seeds Lucas Sithole of South Africa and Brit Andy Lapthorne, finalists at the British Open in Nottingham in July, also begin their quad singles challenges.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the Nottingham Indoor is an ITF 1 Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and is held at Nottingham Tennis Centre. The tournament is supported by Nottingham City Council and entry is free to all spectators. For more information please visit www.wheelchairtennis.org.uk.