World num­ber five gets first round draw against van Koot

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Sean Davies tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­

ICK­EN­HAM wheel­chair ten­nis star Jor­danne Whi­ley will look to start 2015 with more Grand Slam suc­cess when she kicks off her Aus­tralian Open cam­paign to­day (Wed­nes­day).

The world num­ber five takes on Dutch num­ber two Aniek van Koot in the women’s sin­gles contest.

Whi­ley will play van Koot for the first time since their women’s sin­gles semi-fi­nal at last Novem­ber’s NEC Wheel­chair Ten­nis Masters in London, where Whi­ley earned a ca­reer-best third-place fin­ish.

“I have a tough draw but if I want to be the best I have to beat the best,” said Whi­ley. “I gave Aniek a tough match at the Masters in Novem­ber, almost win­ning, so I’m feel­ing con­fi­dent about Wed­nes­day’s match.”

Whi­ley made his­tory last year when she be­came the first Bri­tish ten­nis player in his­tory to win a cal­en­dar year Grand Slam when part­ner­ing Yui Kamiji of Ja­pan to win the women’s dou­bles at all four ma­jors in 2014.

Whi­ley and Kamiji will be­gin their quest for a fifth suc­ces­sive Grand Slam dou­bles ti­tle with a semi-fi­nal against Ger­many’s Katha­rina Kruger and Dutch ace Sharon Wal­raven.

World num­ber three Andy Lapthorne, from Eastcote, com­pleted his Aus­tralian Open prepa­ra­tions by gain­ing the quad sin­gles ti­tle at the Mel­bourne Open over the week­end.

“When you have the world’s top four play­ers all to­gether in a round-robin, any match is go­ing to be tough, but I’m ready for the chal­lenge,” said Lapthorne, who will play Lu­cas Sit­hole and world num­ber one David Wag­ner in his re­main­ing two round-robin matches. I took the first set against Dy­lan in the round-robin at the Mel­bourne Open, so will be look­ing to build on that on Wed­nes­day with the ben­e­fit of a few matches be­hind me.”

Lapthorne will face Dy­lan Al­cott in the first of his three matches in the round-robin phase of the Aus­tralian Open quad sin­gles.

The US Open cham­pion will part­ner Wag­ner in the quad dou­bles fi­nal on Thurs­day as the duo bid to re­tain their Aus­tralian Open ti­tle, with Lapthorne aim­ing to win his fourth Aus­tralian Open dou­bles crown when he and Wag­ner play Al­cott and Sit­hole.




Jor­danne Whi­ley (left) and Andy Lapthorne (right) are in Aus­tralia this week for the Grand Slam event

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