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Grantham wheelchair tennis star reaches all time highest world ranking following Croatian tournaments

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Grantham Tennis Club’s Abbie Breakwell is celebrating her second set of career-high wheelchair tennis rankings in successive weeks after completing back-to-back tournaments in Croatia with two trophies.

Abbie, 18, partnered Ruby Bishop to reach just the second senior women’s doubles final of her career at the Zagreb Open last week after the two Brits beat Romania’s Cristina Deac and Germany’s Britta Wend 6-2, 6-2 in their semi-final.

They were subsequently denied the title by top seeds Zoe Maras of France and Dutchwoman Wendi Schutte, but reaching the final was the highlight of a positive trip for Breakwell.

Abbie Breakwell with her trophies from the Zagreb Open. (48209226)
Abbie Breakwell with her trophies from the Zagreb Open. (48209226)

“Getting into the women’s doubles was a big step for us and we know that we’re going to be playing against some difficult players as we progress,” said Abbie.

“To be able to get to the final was really good, but for me, personally, it was also great to be able to compete against new players and test out new skills I’ve been working on over a period of time, because we haven’t really had much competition, so it’s nice to see how far I’ve come.”

Reaching the doubles final gave Abbie some sense of recompense for bowing out in the first round of the Zagreb Open women’s singles to Wend, but she made the most of the opportunities to come, defeating Bishop 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 and then Austria’s Christina Pesendorfer 6-3, 6-2 to win the women’s consolation singles.

Abbie Breakwell (right) and Ruby Bishop in Croatia. (48209249)
Abbie Breakwell (right) and Ruby Bishop in Croatia. (48209249)

“It was disappointing to get knocked out of the singles early as I was hoping to go a bit further, but overall I played how I wanted to and maybe better than expected,” added Abbie, who had also beaten Pesenforder a week earlier in the Sirius Open to reach the singles quarter-finals of her first tournament before meeting the top seed in the last eight.

Abbie and Ruby Bishop also advanced to the women’s doubles quarter-finals at the Sirius Open after beating Deac and Wend, but were again then denied by the top seeds. However, the tournament provided the foundation for Abbie to attain career-best rankings of 83 in singles and 84 in doubles this week.

She has now joined a wealth of top 10 players in the field for the first ever world ranking wheelchair event at the Viking Classic in Birmingham, which began at the weekend.

“I’m very excited. I’ve never played on grass before, so it’s definitely going to be a new experience,” said Abbie. I can’t wait get to play against players of that high level, such as British No.1 Jordanne Whiley. It might be my one and only chance to play against her, should she go on to retire after Tokyo.”

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