TENNIS: Grantham duo perform well in maiden tournament

Paul Singleton and Darren Whitlock.
Paul Singleton and Darren Whitlock.
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Two players from Grantham Tennis Club performed well in their very first tournament, part of the Wheelchair Tennis Development Series at Loughborough University.

In the main draw, Paul Singleton reached the quarter-finals before losing to the eventual winner of the event, Scott Smith of Shropshire.

In the doubles event, partnered by Nottingham’s James Shaw, he gained some revenge by beating Scott and his partner Craig Nicholson in the semi-final, coming back from a set and a break down to prevail 14-12 in the third set tie-break.

In the final, Paul and James were beaten by Mehboob Hussain and John Lambert from Birmingham.

In the second draw, Daren Whitlock had to have a pit stop in his singles semi-final, as the tyres on his wheelchair were down to the canvas. He maintained his composure to beat Darren Mitchell from Reading 4-2, 5-3.

Darren also made the doubles final with Carl Sanger of Loughborough, who found themselves up against Robert Houghton and Kim Singh of Birmingham who they defeated to claim their maiden title.

After a short rest, Darren found himself up against his double partner Carl in the singles final. Darren managed to take a very tight first set lead, including one service game that had an incredible 12 deuces.

After securing a 5-3, 4-0 victory, Darren confessed he was unsure how to celebrate: “I wanted to scream ‘get in, yes!’, and throw both arms in the air, but settled for a handshake across the net.”

l Wheelchair tennis is really taking off at Grantham Tennis Club, with new players joining every week.

If you are interested, or know someone who may be, ring Grantham Tennis Club on 01476 591391 or pop into the club at Arnoldfield in Gonerby Road, Grantham.