It was another fantastic week of tennis in Nottingham. The British Open featured the world’s best wheelchair tennis players, and the British athletes didn’t disappoint.
Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker partnered Stephane Houdet of France to claim the Mixed Doubles title in a hard fought match. There was another British player on the opposite side of the court, Paralympic silver medallist Alfie Hewett, with his partner Dana Mathewson of the USA. The quartet played out a competitive encounter that enthralled the crowd in Nottingham. After Shuker and Houdet claimed the first set, Hewett and Mathewson hit back in the second and led 5-4. However, Shuker and Houdet held their serve and then broke to take the 2017 title with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
There were high hopes for other British players going into the final day, Sunday 6th August, of the ITF Super Series tournament at Nottingham Tennis Centre, with Alfie Hewett and Andy Lapthorne both having reached singles finals.
19 year old Hewett, current Wimbledon Mens doubles Champion, was up against the 23 year old world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina. Despite having lost the first four games Hewett came back to level 4-4, but Fernandez took the next five games to take the first set and lead 3-0 in the second. Hewett again turned the momentum round to level at 3-3 but the power of the big-hitting Fernandez saw him complete a 6-4, 6-3 win to claim his first British Open title.
Hewett was followed on Centre Court by Andy Lapthorne in the Quad Doubles final against world No.1 David Wagner from the USA. Cerebral Palsy Sport ambassador James Shaw had been defeated by Wagner in the quarter finals. Lapthorpe, Paralympic silver medallist who has cerebral palsy, started off well as he matched Wagner to reach 3-3 in the first set, before the impressive American, fresh from having won the quad doubles on Saturday, won eight games in a row to seal a 6-3, 6-1 win and regain a title he last won in 2009.
Alongside the event, the Tennis Foundation hosted a ‘Come and Try Tennis’ day on Saturday 5th August, giving the opportunity for anyone to have a go at the sport and enjoy the event. For more information about the Tennis Foundation click here.