Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportTom Egberink (NED)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Despite the best efforts of the home crowd at Eton Manor, Great Britain’s Marc McCarroll couldn’t record an upset in the opening men's singles match on Court 1, going down 64 63 against No. 14 seed Tom Egberink.
McCarroll, the world No. 21, produced some fantastic tennis at times and his aggressive style of play asked questions of his higher ranked Dutch opponent, but ultimately Egberink had the answers and was too solid on the important points.
McCarroll, who is from London, started the match with a hold of serve, but Egberink quickly settled down and opened up a 3-1 gap. Buoyed by the vociferous home support, the Brit broke back to draw level with a series of heavy groundstrokes.
At 4-4, McCarroll found himself 15-40 down and, although he saved the first break point with a forehand winner, he couldn’t stave off the second opportunity when a deep return from Egberink forced a backhand error. The Dutchman promptly changed ends and served out the first set.
The second set followed a similar pattern as Egberink drew first blood, McCarroll double faulting on break point to hand his opponent the early advantage. However, like the first set, back came the Brit and immediately got himself on level terms, and once again it was the forehand that was causing the damage.
The set continued on serve until 3-3, when the decisive breakthrough came for Egberink. On break point, a rare appearance at the net for McCarroll saw him send a wayward forehand volley sailing long.
There was no way back for McCarroll now and another break of serve sealed the match for Egberink. The world No. 14, who is making his Paralympic debut at London 2012, goes on to meet either Francesc Tur or Ben Weekes in the second round.
"It was my first match, first Paralympics ever, so I was a bit nervous," said Egberink. "At the beginning it was very close. I then took the first set and after that at the beginning of second set I started to play good, but again he started to come back. At 4-3, he had break point to get back, but I hit an ace, so I was happy. After that I started to hit more into the ball."
McCarroll, who is also playing at his first Paralympics, said: "It was not good enough on the day. I probably made too many errors, but the crowd was unbelievable, the support I got out there even when I was down was unbelievable."
Follow the scores from the Paralympic Tennis Event on the Schedule page.