Jordanne Whiley and her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji added one more major wheelchair tennis title to their sweep of all four Grand Slam crowns this season when they successfully retained their women’s title on Sunday night at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo, California.
Gordon Reid and Michael Jeremiasz of France were runners-up in the men’s doubles as British players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme finished the prestigious event with one title and three runners-up positions between them after Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne were also runners-up in the quad doubles on Saturday.
Whiley became the first British wheelchair tennis player in history to complete a calendar year Grand Slam in September this year when she and Kamiji added the US Open women’s doubles title to their Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles. The British No. 1 and Kamiji are now the first non-Dutch pairing to win all four Grand Slams and the Doubles Masters title in the same season.
With two British players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme in Sunday’s final, Whiley and Kamiji were in fine form against Louise Hunt and Germany’s Katharina Kruger, earning a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Whiley was the only player not to drop her serve in the first set and she went on to serve out the match in the second set, with Kamiji hitting a cross court backhand winner on match point.
“After winning all four Grand Slams this year this was a big one for us, but we wanted to make sure we ended on a high and we want to replicate it next year,” said Whiley. “We are absolutely thrilled and we will play together again at the Grand Slams in 2015. We are still learning and improving, but for now we are both looking forward to playing at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in a couple of weeks, where we can hopefully translate our doubles success into singles success.”
With Reid in his second successive Doubles Masters final on Sunday, he and Jeremiasz kept pace with top seeds and Roland Garros champions Joachim Gerard and Stephane Houdet for the first eight games of the final. However, the British No.1, who was named Tennis Scotland’s International Player of the year for 2014 last week, and Jeremiasz eventually slipped to a 6-4, 6-1 loss.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose in any major final, but after winning the title with Stephane last year I know that he and Jo are having a brilliant season and they were just too good for us on the day. We have lived up to our seeding and continued our record of reaching the final of every tournament we have played. I’m looking forward to preparing for the Nottingham Indoors and the NEC Masters now on home soil.”
After nine Brits qualified for the 2014 Doubles Masters, the event ended with Lucy Shuker and Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock also finishing fourth in the women’s doubles, while Antony Cotterill and the USA’s Greg Hasterok were third in the quad doubles. Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson finished sixth in the men’s doubles.
Whiley, Reid and Lapthorne will all be in action again at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, on 26 – 30 November. Tickets for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters start at just £10, with children going free, and can be purchased via the tournament website:www.wheelchairtennismasters.com.