British women’s No. 3 Louise Hunt saved two match points to win the only three set match on Wednesday’s first day of the Nottingham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Hunt was a set and 6-5 down and 40-15 down against Dutchwoman Michaela Spaanstra in the last match on court before fighting back to complete a 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-3 victory that earns her a women’s singles quarter-final against German top seed and world No. 2 Sabine Ellerbrock, who is also Hunt’s doubles partner.
“I’m delighted with my mental strength again today. It’s the second time in a few weeks I’ve got myself out of a difficult situation and it’s down to my mental toughness, so I’m very pleased to have come through against a good opponent. It’s the second time in the last month I’ve gone to three sets with Micha and I’ve won both matches.”
The women’s singles began with 6-0, 6-0 wins for 2010 champion and British No. 1 Jordanne Whiley and 2011 champion Ellerbrock. Meanwhile, Dutch defending champion Jiske Griffioen beat Brit Val Fisher 6-0, 6-0 and 2008 champion and British No. 2 Lucy Shuker beat Dutchwoman Diede de Groot 6-3, 6-2.
Local Nottinghamshire player David Phillipson made a fine start to his Nottingham Indoor challenge after the British No. 3 dropped just one game to British No. 4 Alfie Hewett in their men’s singles first round match.
With just one world ranking place currently separating the two players, world No. 21 Phillipson lost just the fourth game of his match against Hewett and the eighth seed moves on to play fellow Brit Paul Stewart for a place in the last eight after Stewart also dropped just one game to Morocco’s Ayoub Ettali.
“It was a good solid start today, I thought I played really well and gave Alfie few chances. After the first set I think his head went and I always felt in control,” said Phillipson, who could face a quarter-final later in the week against French world No. 7 and third seed Michael Jeremiasz, should he successfully negotiate his second round match against Stewart.
Elsewhere, British No. 1 and world No. 4 Gordon Reid and Dutch world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers, who have contested the last two finals, both recorded comfortable early wins. Reid defeated Hungary’s Laszlo Farkas 6-0, 6-2, while defending champion Scheffers swept past Brit Shaun Swetman 6-0, 6-0.
Adam Field was the only seeded player in action in the first round of the quad singles and he safely reached the last eight after defeating fellow Brit Richard Green 6-3, 6-2.
Britain’s world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne and world No. 8 Antony Cotterill both had first round byes in the quad singles and will begin their challenges on Thursday’s second day of play against Sophie Fraioli of France and Britain’s Jack Pegram respectively.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, Nottingham Indoor is an ITF 1 Series event on the NEC 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. Please visit www.disabilitytennis.org.uk for more information.