Whi­ley beats best friend to make history and win US Open

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Lewis matt.lewis@trin­i­tymir­

ICK­EN­HAM hero Jor­danne Whi­ley made history at the US Open on Sun­day af­ter be­com­ing the first Bri­tish woman to win a wheel­chair ten­nis Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tle.

Bri­tish num­ber one Whi­ley, play­ing in her first women’s sin­gles Grand Slam fi­nal, beat de­fend­ing cham­pion and world num­ber three Yui Kamiji of Ja­pan 6-4 0-6 6-1.

“It re­ally hasn’t sunk in that I’ve done it – I’m a sin­gles Grand Slam cham­pion! It was so strange play­ing Yui as she’s my best friend and we’ve achieved so much in dou­bles to­gether, but it means I know her game so well,” said Whi­ley, who moved to a new ca­reer best sin­gles world rank­ing on Mon­day af­ter start­ing the US Open ranked num­ber five.

“I felt bad see­ing her cry­ing at the end but that’s ten­nis and I knew I could win it. I kept telling ev­ery­one that I could do it in sin­gles as well and now I’ve fi­nally proved it.

“Ev­ery­thing is click­ing nicely ahead of Rio and now I can’t wait to play at the Sin­gles Mas­ters in De­cem­ber and I want to win that too in front of a home crowd.

“I’m go­ing to treat my­self to some pizza tonight, but then it’s back home and I’ll keep work­ing hard and build on this suc­cess with the sup­port of the Ten­nis Foun­da­tion and UK Sport.”

Whi­ley, who part­nered Kamiji to se­cure dou­ble’s glory at Wim­ble­don in the sum­mer, saw an early break ad­van­tage dis­ap­pear in the first set.

How­ever, the fiery com­peti­tor re­grouped and man­aged to take the last two games to seize the ini­tia­tive.

Kamiji raced through the sec­ond set, but Whi­ley re­turned from a com­fort break be­fore the fi­nal set with a re­newed fo­cus and stormed into a 5-0 lead. She had her first five match points be­fore Kamiji pulled a game back, then a thrilling fi­nal game even­tu­ally saw the Brit clinch a fa­mous vic­tory on her ninth cham­pi­onship point.

East­cote’s Andy Lapthorne bowed out of the quad sin­gles af­ter a com­pre­hen­sive de­feat to David Wag­ner, 6-1 6-0, the match fin­ished in 37 min­utes. HAYES & Yead­ing United hope the re­turn of two key play­ers this week can re­vive their for­tunes on the field.

Tris­tan Lewis’s boys hit a low point on Satur­day as a 2-0 loss to Bishop’s Stort­ford made it no wins in three at­tempts for United, af­ter a poor per­for­mance at York Road.

How­ever, tal­is­manic de­fender Ben Ger­ring and re­turn­ing wide man Ma­son Spence were due to take their place back in the squad for last night’s (Tues­day’s) trip to Hemel Hemp­stead Town.

Boss Lewis said ahead of Satur­day’s game at St Albans: “We’ve been lack­ing con­sis­tency, but we’re con­fi­dent of hav­ing ev­ery­body back fit soon. [Yado] Mambo’s had his surgery now so he’ll be back soon. Ben Ger­ring will also be back.

“Any man­ager will al­ways look to im­prove their group, but for the first time in a long time we feel like we have some good play­ers here.

“They’re all push­ing each other and hope we can pick up enough points to re­flect that.”

“I’ve been here for four years, and although there has been a football team, there hasn’t been a football club.

“Tony [O’Driscoll – the chair­man] and ev­ery­one else has worked re­ally hard to cre­ate a club.

“We want to in­vest in the youth. My ca­reer has been in­vest­ing in youth so it’s pleas­ing for me that the chair­man is sup­port­ing that.

“It may not be this year, next year or the year af­ter, but even­tu­ally it’ll bear fruit.”

Else­where, there was FA Cup fever in Uxbridge as goals from Luke Hene­gan, Matt Woods and Zak Joseph saw the Reds beat Hey­bridge Swifts 3-1 to ad­vance into the sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round.

North­wood were set to do it all again last night af­ter play­ing out a goal­less draw in their tie with Ry­man Premier out­fit Har­row Bor­ough on Satur­day.

AFC Hayes lost 2-0 to Col­liers Wood in the Com­bined Coun­ties Premier and were yesterday due to travel to Chert­sey Town.

n DREAM MO­MENT: Jor­danne Whi­ley cel­e­brates her US Open win

Photo by Ten­nis Foun­da­tion

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