Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeNewsPhillipson misses out on second Belgium title

Phillipson misses out on second Belgium title

BRITAIN’S Number 2 wheelchair tennis player David Phillipson, pictured, narrowly missed out on winning the Ath Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Belgium for the second successive year after a three set loss to home favourite Joachim Gerard. But there was better news for Britain’s junior players after Alfie Hewett won the men’s second draw singles and Dermot Bailey won the junior singles.

Phillipson progressed through the top half of the draw with three straight sets wins en route to the final, arguably his toughest challenge in the earlier rounds coming in the quarter-finals against fellow Briton, Alex Jewitt.

However, after British No. 4 Jewitt came from 0-5 down to level the first set of their contest at 5-5 Phillipson, top seed Phillipson went on to win eight of the next 10 games to prevail 7-5, 6-2.

After defeating South Africa’s Sydwell Mathonsi 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-finals Phillipson set about trying to beat Gerard for the second time in a month, having defeated the Belgian in the men’s main draw consolation singles final at the British Open in Nottingham at the end of July.

But it was Gerard who made home crowd support tell on this occasion and he went on to claim the ITF 3 Series title 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

“It’s not been a bad week, but it wasn’t my day today, he played well and I just couldn’t perform as well on the clay as I did in Nottingham, when I beat him for the first time,” said Phillipson.

Phillipson and Jewitt were two of three Britons in the men’s main draw singles, with 17-year-old Dermot Bailey narrowly losing out to Dutchman Rody de Bie in three sets in his opening match.

However, Bailey and Hewett set up an all-British junior singles final and Bailey went on to clinch the title without dropping a game. Bailey and Hewett also paired up to win their opening men’s main draw doubles match and reach the semi-finals.

In the men’s second draw singles 13-year-old Hewett went into the event without a seeding, but beat players from Belgium, France and Italy en route to the final.

He then defeated Dutch fifth seed Carlos Anker 6-3, 6-0 to clinch one of the biggest international successes of his young career.

The Ath Open was one of two NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour events in the past week to feature British players, with John Parfitt and Liam O’Reilly providing the highlight at the ITF 2 Series Austrian Open in Gross Siegharts.

Parfitt and O’Reilly finished runners-up in the quad doubles after a 1-6, 2-6 loss to Italian second seeds Marco Innocenti.

Parfitt also came agonisingly close to securing a place in the quad singles final, but he was edged out in a final set tie-break by Israel’s Boaz Kramer, who clinched their semi-final 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).

Meanwhile, British No. 3 Louise Hunt was a women’s singles quarter-finalist and a women’s doubles semi-finalist.


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