HALESOWEN'S Jordanne Whiley returned from the USA earlier this week having secured back-to-back women’s doubles titles.
Whiley and her partner, South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane, were declared the winners over the weekend at the Pensacola Open, where the circumstances meant they didn’t have to play a match to follow up their success two weeks ago at the Cajun Classic.
The second seeds were given a bye into the semi-finals in Pensacola before their scheduled opponents had to withdraw due to injury. With Whiley and Montjane then all set for a rematch of their Cajun Classic final against top seed Lucy Shuker and Jiske Griffioen on Sunday’s last day of play, Griffioen was forced to pull out of the doubles final after incurring a back injury during her earlier women’s singles final against fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot.
“It’s never the way you want to win a match or a tournament and it’s certainly a unique situation, but we’ll take it and it gives me a fifth successive doubles title for this season,” said Whiley, who has consolidated her world number six singles ranking and world number 3 doubles ranking during the two tournaments in Louisiana and Florida.
With Friday’s third day of play in Pensacola cancelled due to heavy rain, Whiley started the weekend with a singles semi-final against world number four Van Koot. The British number one had dropped just four games and won two sets 6-0 during the course of her first two matches against Dutchwoman Michaela Spaanstra and Emmanuelle Morch of France, but second seed van Koot provided a bigger challenge and eventually advanced 6-2, 6-2 before winning the final against Griffioen.
Whiley and her London 2012 bronze medal-winning partner Shuker are among the players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme heading to a Player Performance Camp in La Manga, Spain, later this week as the leading Brits prepare for more elite level tournaments in South Africa and the USA in late April and May.