Ruairi Logan became the latest Scot to add his name to a roll of honour that includes Rio Paralympic champion Gordon Reid, when the 14-year-old clinched the main draw singles title at Glasgow Wheelchair Tennis Tournament over the weekend.
After a record entry of 35 players for the penultimate Tennis Foundation National Wheelchair Tennis Series event of 2016, they were treated to a visit from Reid on Sunday as the world No. 1 returned to the tournament where he first played competitively and won the B Division singles event in 2005. This time Rio and Wimbledon champion Reid was the one presenting the medals.
Winners of five previous National Series events this season were in action, with deciding match tie-breaks featuring in all four rounds of main draw singles contests during a highly competitive weekend.
Logan’s route to the final saw him end Scott Smith’s bid for a fourth National Series singles title of 2016 with a 6-3, 4-6, (10-8) semi-final victory.
By comparison, former Paralympian and top seed Kevin Simpson made his way to the final with two straight sets wins, That set up a title decider between coach and student, but it was the student who narrowly came out on top after another deciding match tie-break as Logan edged out Simpson 6-2, 3-6, (10-6).
Both players were on opposite sides of net again in the main draw doubles final after Peter Moore and Simpson and Logan and Ryan Macdonald set up another all-Scottish final, this time Simpson came out on top as she and Moore prevailed 6-2.
In the novice singles top seed David Birtles and second seed Nicholas King both eased through their opening two matches to reach the final before Birtles lived up to his top billing to take the title 6-2. However Birtles and his partner Frazer Smith had to be content with runners-up honours in the Novice doubles as Neil Duncan and Lesley Johnson raced through the final 6-0.
With the tournament catering for the full range of ages and abilities, there was another local win in the three-way round-robin junior singles event as Glasgow’s Ellie Robertson secured 4-1, 4-0 and 5-3, 4-2 wins over Jade McGoldrick and Ben Flanagan in her two matches.
Reid took his Rio men’s singles gold and doubles silver medals along to Scotsoun as he continues to inspire the new generation of wheelchair tennis players in Scotland. In return he had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to him on the occasion of his 25th birthday and was presented with a cake depicting a golden racket and tennis ball celebrating his recently-earned world No.1 status.
“One of the things I’ve been saying all year round is we want to try and get more people playing the sport and hopefully the success I’ve had this year will help with that. So it’s great to see, straight off the back of the Paralympics, so many people here playing the event this weekend in Glasgow and hopefully it leads on to even more coming up next year,” said Reid.
“Maybe I’ve helped inspire some of the younger guys here, but it’s down to the hard work of those at Tennis Scotland and the Tennis Foundation, as well, one of them being Kev (Kevin Simpson, Wheelchair Tennis Engagement Officer for Scotland), so hopefully we can find even more players.”
“What a great tournament with so many great matches played over the weekend. It was fantastic to see so many new players in the novice division playing their first ever tournament and also the high standard of tennis on display in the main draw.” said Andrew Raitt, Tennis Scotland Regional Development Manager South West and Disability Lead.
“The highlight of the weekend was when Gordon dropped in to present the medals and let all the players see his Paralympic medals,. What a champion and role model for wheelchair tennis. It was really encouraging to see all the junior players that have been inspired by Gordon loving wheelchair tennis.”
There is one remaining Wheelchair Tennis National Series event at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London in November before the National Finals and Celebration Weekend in Gloucester in December, which all players are invited to enter.
Photos copyright Rob Eyton-Jones/Tennis Foundation