US GRAND SLAM GLORY
Whiley beats best friend to make history and win US Open
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