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Paralympic star Whiley planning a break
2:00pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in Local Sport
HALESOWEN wheelchair tennis star Jordanne Whiley will take a break from the sport after making Paralympic history.
The 20-year-old and partner Lucy Shuker became the first British women to ever win a medal in the sport when they won bronze in the doubles last Friday.
Whiley, the British number two, was playing in her second Games after making her bow in Beijing four years ago.
But the former Earls pupil is remaining non-committal about her future after revealing she plans to take some hard-earned time off.
She said: “A lot of people have said how I’m only 20 and will have at least another three Paralympics in me.
“People don’t realise I have grown up and done nothing else but play tennis for 17 years, apart from when I was at school.
“That’s longer than the majority of people on the tour have been playing and longer than a lot of other people on the British team.
“You have to devote your life to the sport and for a while I just want to do normal stuff.
“I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do and I’m not going to quit the sport entirely. “I may go back to studying but I’m certainly going to take a bit of time out.”
Despite losing last Thursday’s semi-final 6-4 6-3 to Dutch duo Jiske Griffoen and Aniek van Koot, Whiley and Shuker bounced back to beat Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ratana Techamaneewat 6-7 7-6 6-3 in a thrilling bronze medal match which lasted more than three hours.
The British pairing battled back from 3-0 down in the second set and victory provided some revenge for Whiley, who was knocked out of the singles competition at the first hurdle by Khanthasit.
She said: “When I played in the singles I was really nervous and kind of crumbled under the pressure.
“But it did mean I could focus all my efforts on the doubles and I was determined I was not going to leave empty handed.
“It was awesome to win the bronze and it was an incredible match. When we won there was just a huge feeling of relief.”