BRITAIN’S Andrew Lapthorne, David Phillipson and Alex Jewit all collected NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour titles in Austria and Belgium over the weekend, writes MARSHALL THOMAS
Top seed Lapthorne had to come through three three set matches in his four contests at the ITF 1 Series Salzburg Open, defeating Dutch third seed Dorrie Timmermans 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Adam Field made a bold attempt at trying to set up an all-British final, but the fourth seed eventually bowed out 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 in the last four to Italy’s Marco Innocenti.
Innocenti also took Lapthorne to a deciding set in the final, but world No 7 Lapthorne went on to clinch his second title of 2010 and his first ITF 1 Series title 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Lapthorne is now set to move up in this week’s world rankings published by the International Tennis Federation.
In the women’s singles, British No 1 Lucy Shuker’s bid for back-to-back ITF 1 Series titles ended in the semi-finals against the player she had beaten in last week’s Belgian Open final.
Fifth seed Shuker battled her way to the last four after a 4-6 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dutch third seed Marjolein Buis.
Meanwhile, second seed and world No 8 Annick Sevenans of Belgium was stretched to a first set tie-break in her quarter-final against British No 3 Louise Hunt before prevailing 7-6, 6-1 and then went on to beat Shuker 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Second seeds Shuker and Sevenans reached the final of the women’s doubles, but after a marathon contest against top seeds Buis and Sharon Walraven the Dutch duo won a deciding set tie-break to secure a narrow 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory.
After Shuker’s Belgian Open singles and doubles titles a week earlier, Phillipson kept up the British success in Belgium by justifying his top seeding for the men’s singles at the ITF 3 Series Ath Open.
World No. 12 Phillipson eased into the men’s singles final without dropping a set and then clinched his second international title of the season in a thrilling contest, overcoming French second seed Lahcen Majdi in a final set tie-break for a 6-0, 5-7, 7-6(2) victory.
Earlier in the tournament Majdi had beaten reigning National champion Jewitt 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the men’s singles quarter-finals, but Jewitt gained some compensation for that narrow loss when he paired up with Phillipson in the men’s doubles as the British pairing again lived up to their top billing to beat second seeds Majdi and Gert Vos of Belgium in the final.
There was another British victory in the men’s main draw consolation singles as 16-year-old Philip Cochrane, who was beaten in the first round of the main draw by Jewitt, went on to win the consolation event with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over world No 13 Vos in the final. Meanwhile, Dermot Bailey, also 16, was a semi-finalist in the men’s second draw singles before bowing out to the eventual second draw singles champion, Taneli Tenhunen of Finland.