Shuker and Homan Push Defending Champions in Italy
by Marshall Thomas
The listing was posted by WheelPower - British Wheelchair Sport - News
British Women's Tennis No 1 Lucy Shuker and her Dutch partner Korie Homan gave defending champions Jiske Griffioen and Esther Vergeer a difficult time despite losing their second pool match on Friday at the Camozzi Doubles Masters, the most prestigious and lucrative doubles event on the 2006 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Montichiari, Italy.
Dutch top seeds Griffioen and Vergeer are unbeaten as a doubles partnership since first teaming up over two years ago, but the world's top two doubles players could only edge past the new partnership of Shuker and Homan 7-5, 6-4 in the second of their three round robin matches.
Shuker and Homan, the third highest ranked team in this week's event, which features four of the world's top ranked doubles pairings, must now beat the other Dutch pairing of Aniek Van Koot and Sharon Walraven in their third and last pool match on Saturday to earn a place in Sunday's final.
Van Koot and Walraven have an identical record to Shuker and Homan going into Saturday's critical match, with one win and one loss from their two matches thus far. However, Shuker and Homan's performance against Griffioen and Vergeer should give them great confidence as Van Koot and Walraven failed to get a game on the board when they played Griffioen and Vergeer in their opening match on Thursday.
The Doubles Masters, which has ITF Masters Series status on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour and is billed as the world doubles championship of wheelchair tennis, will see the top two pairings after the pool stage go forward to Sunday's final, with the as yet unbeaten pairing of Griffioen and Vergeer already having secured their final berth.
Shuker made her Camozzi Doubles Masters debut last year, finishing third with former British No 1 Janet McMorran as her partner. This year Shuker has collected one doubles title and has finished as runner-up in four other doubles events thus far.
For the first time this years the Men's and Women's events at the Camozzi Doubles Masters are being played in separate weeks. Two weeks ago British Men's No 1 Jayant Mistry and his French partner Michael Jeremiasz finished as runners-up in the Men's event.