Photo: Steve Wake / Professional SportLucas Sithole (RSA)
The second NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour event of 2013 to be held in Great Britain has a familiar ring about it approaching the closing stages of the North East Tournament, after the quad singles and women’s singles finalists were decided on Tuesday’s second day of play at Sunderland Tennis Centre.
For the second time in a week, Jamie Burdekin will meet Lucas Sithole of South Africa in a quad singles final, while Jordanne Whiley will face Christine Schoenn of France in a women’s singles final, as British players attempt to repeat the feat achieved at last week’s North West Challenge of winning all the titles.
The quad singles began at this week’s ITF 2 Series tournament with a first round walkover for world No. 7 Sithole after world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne had to withdraw from the event through injury, Sithole went on to end the North East title defence of Adam Field in the semifinals, beating the Briton 63 62 less than a week after they had gone to three sets at the North West Challenge.
Sithole now faces a rematch against world No. 6 and second seed Jamie Burdekin after Burdekin eased through his semifinal against his countryman Richard Green 60 60. After a 62 76(2) win over Sithole in the final of the North West Challenge, Burdekin will now
attempt to secure his second title of the season on Wednesday.
The first of the finals to be decided in Sunderland came in the quad doubles as 2012 champions Antony Cotterill and Field retained the title after beating South African duo Bongani Dhlamini and Sithole 62 62.
Whiley and Schoenn set to meet again
Whiley will bid to follow up her North West Challenge title after defeating French third seed Emilie Chene 61 61 in her semifinal in Sunderland. However, second seed Schoenn ended any prospect of an all-British women’s final after defeating fourth seed Lauren Jones 60 60.
Meanwhile, Jones and Whiley beat fellow Brits Debbie Brazier and Val Fisher 60 61 to reach the women’s doubles final. The top seeds will now face second seeds Chene and Schoenn, who beat Britain’s Laura Swetman and Caroline Wareing 60 61 in their semifinal.
All four seeds into all-British men’s semifinals
After winning the first ITF 3 Series title of his career at the North West Challenge, 15-year-old world No. 1 Junior Alfie Hewett will line-up in Wednesday’s men’s singles semifinals alongside three Paralympians, with a British player guaranteed to lift the title on Thursday.
Hewett will play British No. 3 Marc McCarroll in the semifinals as McCarroll attempts to avenge his loss to Hewett in the final at the North West Challenge. Second seed McCarroll kept up his bid to regain the North East Tournament title he won in 2011 with a 61 61 win over British-based Dutchman Pim Palmen.
Meanwhile, Hewett’s challenge for back-to-back NEC Tour titles in successive weeks progressed after he won his quarterfinal against Tony Knappett 60 61.
The quarterfinals in the top half of the draw ended with top seed and defending champion Gordon Reid beating fellow Scot Peter Moore 60 61, while third seed Alex Jewitt beat Kevin Simpson 63 63.