Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportJordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker (GBR)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: British pair Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker claimed their bronze medal in a nail biting three set match. They beat Athens silver medallist Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ratana Techamaneewat 6-7 7-6 6-3 saving two match points in the second set.
Neither team seemed to be able to hold onto a lead in the first set. The harder hitting British pair looked impressive to take an early lead, however Thailand as seen in their other singles and doubles matches came from behind to work their way back into the match.
Thailand used the simple tactic of slower but consistent balls retuning most of what the British gave to them and making few unforced errors. This did not suit the harder hitting British duo at first and they were making easy errors going for the winner early on in the point.
At 2-3 down Great Britain looked to change their tactics opening long, deep rallies with plenty of high balls the Thai women and then waiting for the right ball to attack on. This patience paid off as they broke Khanthasit to love.
The more confident British pair continued with this good form Shuker threw in her best serving display hitting an ace to bring them back into the lead 4-3 and a come back from 0-40 down gave Whiley the opportunity to serve for the set. Great Britain looked in a strong position to take the first set.
However the double faults that plagued Whiley in the match against the Dutch in the semifinals started to appear. A double fault at set point and at deuce gave Thailand the game to bring it back to on serve at 5-4. Both teams now held serve to take it to a tie-break at 6-6.
Thailand took the early lead and went 5-3 up. Khanthasit who is the singles quarterfinalist here was becoming more assertive on the court covering the large majority of the court. Britain stayed mentally strong to win three points to give them their second set point of the match. Thailand showed their mental strength and saved this and another two set point to level the score at 8-8.
The crowd was really trying to spur Great Britain on but the situation became too much for them. A backhand volley into the net by Shuker gave Thailand their first set point. This was all they needed and they took their opportunity winning the first set in 7-6.
The missed chances for the British women were playing on their minds as they started the second set going 3-0 down quickly.
Following a toilet break by Shuker, Great Britain managed to turn their game around exposing Techamaneewat and finding the gap between the Thai pair. As the confidence of Shuker and Whiley grew, Whiley in particularly really moved up into the court using her attacking forehand to their advantage. They took a 5-3 lead with Whiley serving for the match but nerves once more were the British downfall and they lost the game.
Thailand took the lead 6-5 and Shuker was left to serve to stay in the match. They failed to cope with the pressure going down 15-40 and the match looked set to be over. Some inspired play enabled them to save two match points before taking the set to another tiebreak.
During the tiebreak it was a reverse of the first set. Great Britiain were taking control of the point with Shuker quickly positioning herself at the net to finish the point. They raced to a 6-0 lead. Thailand saved two set points before Whiley and Shuker took the set to level the match.
The third set was dictated by the play of the British pair. They were dominating play while the Thai pair kept just dropping the ball back into the court in the same style of play. They worked the set up to 5-3 and Shuker served for the bronze.
The atmosphere was electric and the British pair and at match point Shuker served a phenomenal ace to take the match. The British pair embraced in joy before making their way other to receive their congratulations from their team.
Follow the scores from the Paralympic Tennis Event on the Schedule page.