Whiley confident ahead of Wimbledon contest

First published in Local Sport

HALESOWEN wheelchair tennis star Jordanne Whiley is confident ahead of her semi-final doubles match at Wimbledon tomorrow.

Whiley begins her bid for a third successive Grand Slam title when the British number one and her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji take on Germany’s Katharina Kruger and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands.

Whiley won the first Grand Slam title of her career at the Australian Open when she and Kamiji defeated Dutch duo Marjolein Buis and Jiske Griffieon.

Whiley and Kamiji followed up with another tense victory in the final at Roland Garros last month, when they edged out the defending champions Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, the same Dutch duo that beat Whiley and Kamijji in last year’s Wimbledon final.

“It’s a good draw for me and Yui and after Melbourne and Roland Garros we have a lot of confidence and are really excited to be returning to Wimbledon as the top two ranked doubles players,” said Whiley, who is currently at a career best number two behind Kamiji in the women’s doubles world rankings following their victory in Paris.

Whiley is also aiming for a place in her third Wimbledon final, having partnered fellow Brit Lucy Shuker to finish runners-up to Griffioen and van Koot in 2012 before the British duo went on to win the women’s doubles bronze medal at the London Paralympics.

Both players are among three players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme to have qualified for Wimbledon this year.

Whiley and Shuker were reunited last week as they reached the women’s doubles final together at the BNP Paribas Open de France, the fourth event of the year to have Super Series status, the highest tier of wheelchair tennis tournament outside of the Grand Slams.

The British second seeds finished runners-up to Buis and Kamiji in Saturday’s final, with world number five Whiley also reaching the women’s singles semi-finals before bowing out to world number two van Koot 6-2, 6-2.

Teaming up with Kamiji again and trying to go one better than they did 12 months ago at Wimbledon is now Whiley’s focus, but first there is Friday’s semi-final against Kruger and Walraven, the wild card entry for this year’s women’s doubles.

“Every match at a Grand Slam is potentially tough, but hopefully we can continue our winning ways,” added Whiley.

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