Grand Slam Champion Whiley aims to continue ‘amazing’ season at NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters
on 13-10-2015 10:48
US Open champion Jordanne Whiley is aiming to end her ground-breaking season in style when she lines up for the 2015 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters on 2-6 December at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the venue for the London 2012 Paralympic Tennis Event.
For the second successive year world No.4 Whiley is set to return to the scene of her London 2012 women’s doubles bronze medal-winning performance with Lucy Shuker, with both Brits among the elite women’s field of eight players this year for the International’s Tennis Federation’s year-end singles championship.
Whiley, Shuker and their fellow players hope the fantastic crowd support they received at London 2012 will inspire them to further success, with Whiley aiming to build on the first Grand Slam and Super Series singles titles of her career, both of which have come this year in the wake of a thrilling semi-final appearance at the NEC Masters in 2014.
"The British public are so great at getting behind their athletes, so I’d appeal to them to come along and do what you do best... Cheer loudly!” Jordanne Whiley
“I love playing in front of large crowds, especially my home crowd. The British public are so great at getting behind their athletes, so I’d appeal to them to come along and do what you do best... Cheer loudly!” said Whiley, who won her first Super Series singles title at the British Open in Nottingham in July shortly after partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji to win their second Wimbledon doubles title together.
She then went on to beat Kamiji in the women’s singles final of the US Open and last week collected her MBE for services to wheelchair tennis from HRH The Princess Royal.
“I didn't expect so many people to come and support us at the last year’s Masters with it being the first year that it was held in London, so I was pleasantly surprised and I hope everyone who came last year will come back, and the increasing profile of our sport will encourage plenty to come throughout the week, too. It’s been an amazing year for me so far and I can't wait to play at the Masters in December and I want to win that too in front of a home crowd.
Whiley will have extra motivation this year, having come agonisingly close to a place in the final in 2014 after earning three match points in her semi-final against Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot. Van Koot went on to win that contest and the subsequent final against her fellow Dutchwoman Jiske Griffioen in three sets, but Whiley feels the experience has ultimately made her stronger after she went on to finish last year’s tournament with a career best third place finish.
“That was the most disappointing loss of my career and after that I never wanted to feel that way again." Jordanne Whiley
“That was the most disappointing loss of my career and after that I never wanted to feel that way again. Of course I’ve still lost matches, but I've learnt to take the chances when they arrive and not to fear them,” said Whiley, who has beaten van Koot en route to winning her British Open and US Open titles and this year beat both Griffioen and van Koot at the British Open.
The flip side of Whiley’s disappointment at the 2014 NEC Masters was van Koot’s delight as the current world No. 2 went on to win her first Masters title and the London 2012 silver medallist is also excited to return to the venue of two of her most memorable career successes.
“I can’t wait to try and defend my 2015 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, last year was a fantastic event for me and I’m looking forward to heading back to London – the city of dreams,” said van Koot.
Meanwhile, after winning the women’s singles silver medal at London 2012 and also finishing runner-up at the Masters last year, Griffioen will be out to try and finish on top this year in field that features seven of the eight players that contested the 2014 NEC Masters.
“I’m really excited to come to Eton Manor again. I have great memories from the Paralympics 2012, so returning to this venue is always a pleasure,” said Griffioen. “The Masters last year was amazing and I’m sure it will be even better this year. It's always great to have to the top eight competing for the Masters title at the end of the year. One final battle!”
The last remaining tickets for the Masters are now on sale starting from just £2 for community groups and schools up to a maximum of £15 for the weekend semi-finals and finals. All kids can come along for a quid and there is an Activity Zone full of entertainment for all the family. Tickets can be purchased here: www.wheelchairtennismasters.com.