Jordanne Whiley completed a sensational return to international competition on Sunday when the 10-time Grand Slam champion beat world No.9 Katharina Kruger of Germany 6-2, 6-4 to win the women’s singles title at the inaugural ITF 3 Series Wrexham Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.
Whiley completed a memorable day at Wrexham Tennis Centre by also adding the women’s doubles title with American partner Dana Mathewson.
The former world No. 3 and four-time Wimbledon doubles champion, playing her first international event since Wimbledon 2017 and since becoming a mum for the first time in January 2018, beat three of the top five seeds on her way to Sunday’s singles final against top seed Kruger.
Whiley, who became National champion for the fifth time in December in her first event since the birth of son Jackson, secured an immediate double break for a 3-0 lead in the final to settle any potential nerves. She then took the last two games of both sets to clinch her latest title after an hour and 27 minutes.
The 2014 US Open women’s singles champion, who will now be one of the top Brits taking on another strong international field at Bolton Indoor, which begins on Tuesday, said:
“Of course I’m not currently ranked and a lot depended on the draw here, but I’ve certainly exceeded my expectations. I guess I knew I could win it, but I’ve been training better than I played for some of this week so there’s plenty to work on. But I’ve made massive progress with my net play and returns.”
After her singles victory Whiley paired up with Mathewson to beat the top seeds, Britain’s Louise Hunt and Michaela Spaanstra of the Netherlands, 6-3, 6-3 in the women’s doubles final.
“I was probably more nervous for my (singles) second round against Dana than I was today, because I know that in the past we’ve had really strong matches and Dana really challenges me. So it was nice to be on the same side of the net today for the doubles. While Dana’s based in the UK we train together, too, and this was our debut together in doubles ahead of Bolton next week. I’m really excited for Bolton now as there will be more Top 10 players there and it will be a whole new challenge. I’ve really missed Jackson this week, so I’m super-excited to see him again in Bolton.”
On a day when French second seed Frederic Cattaneo beat Dutch top seed Ruben Spaargaren 6-4, 6-4 to win the men’s singles title and Canada’s Rob Shaw defeated Anders Hard of Sweden 6-2, 6-1 to win the quad singles final, Brits also contested the men’s doubles and quad doubles finals.
Brit Dermot Bailey and Chile’s Alexander Cataldo finished runners-up in the men’s doubles and the all-British partnership of Antony Cotterill and James Shaw finished runners-up in the quad doubles.
The Wrexham Indoor tournament and the Bolton Indoor ITF 2, which now takes place from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd February, form part of the International Tennis Federation’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour. They are the first two of seven world ranking wheelchair tennis tournaments to be held in Great Britain in 2019.
International wheelchair tennis will return to Wrexham in October for the newly renamed British Futures tournament, which will fall within the year-long wheelchair tennis qualification window for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.