11 July 2019
Wimbledon showpiece unattainable for Whiley
**Jordanne Whiley is not used to missing out on finals at her home Grand Slam, so defeat in the Wimbledon wheelchair doubles semis is a particularly bitter pill to swallow. **
The 27-year-old, who was returning to the All England Club, after time spent away from the sport on maternity leave, went down 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 defeat to No.1 seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot alongside partner Yui Kamiji, a day after she was eliminated from the singles.
And Whiley, a 10-time Slam winner, was particularly downhearted to have missed out on the chance to add yet another to the tally on her home comeback.
“It’s just difficult, because I haven’t not been in a final since 2012 and Yui has won it the last five times, so it’s just hard right now,” she said.
“We knew it was going to be difficult because they’re the top seeds and we were unseeded.
“Of course there are positives we can take. A set and 6-5 actually was probably some of the best tennis we’ve ever played.
“We were really aggressive and we both felt good, were both moving and then Aniek and Diede started to play well.
“They got a lot of balls back and cut out errors, and we just didn’t respond very well to that.”
The four-time champions raced into an early lead, taking 38 minutes to wrap up the first set 6-3, and all looked rosy on court 17.
A stirring comeback in the second after trailing 2-0 and 3-1 saw them twice serve for the match, but the Dutch duo proved their mettle to force a tie-break.
And Whiley admits that fatigue certainly played its part as she and Kamiji lost the breaker followed by the deciding set.
“I still enjoyed it out there. I love playing here and always love playing with Yui, so I always enjoy the match, but I just got tired,” she added.
“I’ve been back six months and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen my fitness be affected in a match.
“I don’t know if that’s because I’ve made a lot of finals so have been playing a lot of tennis over the last six months.
“But maybe my fitness just isn’t quite there yet, with the girls who have been on the tour in the last two years that I’ve been out. I think that was a factor.”
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