Lucy Shuker kicked off 2019 in style as she progressed in both the women’s singles and doubles on the opening day of the Bendigo Wheelchair Tennis Open in Australia.

The 38-year-old was seeded fifth going into the Wheelchair Tennis Tour’s first Super Series tournament of the year and received a bye in the first round of the singles.

She then went up against Wanitha Inthanin of Thailand in the second round, her first match of the event, and prevailed in straight sets with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory.

The three-time Paralympian was not done yet, though, and joined forces with Japan’s Manami Tanaka for their quarter-final clash in the women’s doubles.

Shuker and Tanaka, the second seeds, faced Germany’s Katharina Kruger and South African Kgothatso Montjane for a place in the last four and triumphed 4-6 6-2 6-1.

They will now take on Inthanin and her Thai partner Sakhorn Khanthasit in the semi-finals for a shot at the final and the first piece of silverware this year.

In the singles draw, Shuker’s victory means she will go up against Montjane, who is seeded fifth, once again in the quarter-finals as she looks to reach the last four.

Andy Lapthorne was in action in the men's doubles with David Wagner

Lapthorne misses out

However, there was less success for Andy Lapthorne and American partner David Wagner in the men’s doubles as they were beaten in their first match of the year.

The reigning US Open men’s wheelchair quad doubles champions faced China’s Xio Min Feng and Zhenxu Ji in the first round but lost 6-7 6-0 6-1 despite taking the first set 9-7 in the tiebreak.

But Lapthorne has still got a quarter-final to look forward to in the men’s quad singles draw, where he will face Kyu-Seung Kim of Korea, with Wagner waiting in the last four for the winner.

Meanwhile, fellow British star Gordon Reid received a bye through the first round of the men’s singles and will face Greg Britten of Australia in the second round.

He also received a bye in the first round of the men’s doubles, where he has teamed up with Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, which means a quarter-final clash awaits.

The second seeds will go up against Spain’s Martin De La Puente and Thomas Flax of Austria in the last eight after they overcame Kyu-Seung Kim of Korea and Koji Sugeno of Japan 6-0 6-1 in round one.

Bendigo is the latest city to host one of the sport’s six Super Series tournaments, with the event previously held in Sydney, in what is the first of three weeks of action in Victoria.

This week’s tournament will be followed by the Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open, before the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam of the year – takes place at the end of the month.

Sportsbeat 2019

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