British athletes, Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker are celebrating double title success after sweeping the board in the women’s singles and doubles at the ITF 2 Busan Open over the weekend. The pair won the doubles title before Jordanne clinched the singles title in the first of three elite tournaments in Korea this month.
Jordanne and Lucy are both supported by leading British disability charity Path to Success, as part of their Path to Tokyo campaign. For this campaign, the charity has pledged over £130k to cover coaching, training, travel costs, equipment and specialised sports wheelchairs for the sponsored athletes in the build up to the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020. Both Jordanne and Lucy are also part of the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme.
Whiley’s incredible comeback to international wheelchair tennis after childbirth gained yet more momentum as the former world No.3 made it three titles in four tournaments this season with a series of four commanding straight sets wins.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion’s victories included three against Japanese players as she raced past fourth seed Manami Tanaka 6-2, 6-0 in the semi-finals before defeating fifth seed Momoko Ohtani in the final for her first ITF 2 title of the year.
Commenting on her victory, Whiley said:
“I’ve played some really good tennis all week, but today in the final it was a little tricky as it was really windy. I am, however, happy that I found a way to stick in there and I’m very pleased with how the comeback has started.”
Following her success at the Wrexham Indoor ITF3 earlier this year, Whiley went on to finish runner-up in the ITF 2 Bolton Indoor before winning last month’s ITF 3 Biel-Bienne Indoor in Switzerland. With 17 wins in her first 18 women’s singles matches of 2019, Whiley’s latest success will see her regain a place back inside the world’s top 25 before contesting her first ITF 1 tournament of the year at this week’s Daegu Open, which begins on Tuesday.
Two-time Paralympic bronze medallists Shuker and Whiley paired up for the first time since winning their bronze medal match at Rio 2016 to claim their first title together since 2015.
After beginning with a 6-0, 6-0 win, their toughest challenge came in the semi-finals as they claimed a thrilling 7-5, 6-7(3), (10-7) win over top seeds Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ohtani following a deciding match tie-break. Shuker and Whiley wrapped up the title with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 win over Japanese third seeds Kanako Domori and Saki Takamuro.
After claiming her first title of 2019, 2018 Wimbledon doubles finalist Shuker, said:
“It’s been really good to get back on court with Jordy and even better to win the first title together of 2019. I feel we have both made changes to our games (since Whiley’s time out to start a family) and complement each other as a doubles team even better now, so I am excited to see how we develop.”
After her second doubles title of 2019, Whiley said:
“I’m playing doubles with Lucy again at the Daegu Open and while our semi-final win in Busan wasn’t pretty, it’s a good start to us being back playing together.”