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Jewitt ends Belgian challenge on a high

REIGNING national wheelchair tennis champion Alex Jewitt completed a week of varied success for British players contesting NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour events in Belgium and Austria, writes MARSHALL THOMAS

Jewitt picked up victories in both the men’s main draw consolation singles and mixed doubles events at the Flanders Open.

After bowing out to eventual men’s singles runner-up Eric Stuurman, of the Netherlands, in the first round of the main draw earlier in the week, Jewitt went on to complete victory in the consolation event after a 6-1, 6-1 win over 16-year-old fellow Briton Dermot Bailey.

He also gained an unexpected victory in the mixed doubles after reaching the final with Frenchwoman Pauline Helouin.

Jewitt and Helouin were handed victory after their scheduled South African opponents Sydwell Mathonsi and Kgothatso Montjane withdrew from Saturday’s final.

“After a difficult first round it’s great to finish the week with a victory,” said Jewitt, who is only five tournaments into his 2010 season after returning in May from an eight month period out with injury.

“The mixed doubles was a complete bonus. It’s not for world ranking points and not every tournament is able to put on a mixed doubles, but it’s always good fun and a great opportunity to get more match practice.”

Meanwhile, the ITF 3 Series tournament produced a landmark result for Dermot Bailey, who reached his first senior men’s main draw doubles final, partnering Sydwell Mathonsi.

Bailey and Mathonsi overcame Belgium’s Tony Geys and Joeri van Assche 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals before finding former Paralympic Games doubles medallists Robin Ammerlaan and Stuurman too strong for them in the final, with the Dutch duo clinching the title 6-2, 6-1.

Illness hampered Anthony Cotterill’s bid for the quad singles and quad doubles titles at the ITF 2 Series Austrian Open in Gross Siegharts.

After becoming ill on Friday following his semi-final victory, Cotterill was 6-3, 3-2 behind against Swedish top seed Anders Hard in Saturday’s singles final before having to retire.

Having retired from the singles final Cotterill was unable to take to the court for the deciding quad doubles contest with his Austrian partner Claus-Peter Laisacher, handing victory to Hard and his Austrian partner Peter Tatschl.

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