Seven of the ten-strong squad that represented ParalympicsGB at the London 2012 Games secured wins on a successful first day for the Brits at Nottingham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.
The ITF 2 tournament, organised by the Tennis Foundation and on the international NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, also received confirmation this week that it would be upgraded to an ITF 1 event for 2013.
Defending champion and British No.1 Gordon Reid made short work of his match against fellow Brit Edward Holt as he won 6-0, 6-1 at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre to set up a quarter-final encounter against former world No. 1 ranked Frenchman Laurent Giammartini.
“Eddy’s not been playing that long, so it’s quite nice to get a match against him and see how well he’s coming on. I’ve just got to keep beating who’s in front of me and hopefully I’ll get a rematch of last year’s final again at the end of the week against Maikel Scheffers after our three-hour marathon last year,” said Reid, who reached the quarter-finals of the singles and doubles at the Paralympics.
Joining him in the last eight is top seed and world No. 2 Scheffers after he defeated Dutch compatriot Rody de Bie 6-1, 6-3 to book a place against British No.4 Alex Jewitt.
Jewitt and British No.2 Marc McCarroll secured their spots in the quarter-finals with wins over Illdus Shaikhislamov and Dermot Bailey respectively while 14-year-old Alfie Hewett will join his more senior counterparts after winning 6-0, 6-1 over the Netherlands’ Marco Eggink.
And local Nottinghamshire player David Phillipson made sure of his place in the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sweden’s Dan Wallin.
"It was alright for a first match considering I haven’t played competitively since the Paralympics. I served well, but my forehand was a bit iffy for some reason and I know I can improve. I've got (fourth seed) Tadeusz Kruszelnicki next and I'm pretty happy that I should have enough to come out on top against him if I’m on my game," said Phillipson.
Not to be outdone by the men, London 2012 doubles bronze medallist Jordanne Whiley reached the semi-finals defeating Debbie Brazier 6-2, 6-3 while British No.3 Louise Hunt also reached the last four in another all-British match with a comprehensive 6-0, 6-0 win over Laura Swetman.
“I’ve only had a couple of training sessions since the rest I needed after the Games, but they were really good training sessions, so I think I can improve on my play today. Chances are that I’ve got the top seed Sabine Ellerbrock next, so let’s hope that was a good warm up and I’ll be in top form to play her in the semis if she gets through,” added Whiley.
The quad division is being played as a round-robin format with London 2012 quad doubles silver medallist Andy Lapthorne getting off to a solid start beating fellow Brit Adam Field 6-0, 6-2 in the first set of matches today.