Reid, Shuker take home titles at wheelchair tennis tournament

mmccombs@islandpacket.comOctober 1, 2012 

Gordon Reid hits a serve to challenger Stephen Welch during the finals of the Men's Open Singles division in the USTA Fall Southern Pro Tennis Registry $17,500 Wheelchair Championships on Sunday at Chaplin Park.

SARAH WELLIVER/STAFF PHOTO

Gordon Reid and Stephen Welch are no strangers.

By the time the top-seeded Reid downed second-seeded Welch 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday in the Men's Open Singles final of the USTA Fall Southern Pro Tennis Registry $17,500 Wheelchair Championships at Chaplin Park, the two had grown quite familiar.

Neither having someone to room with, Reid and Welch roomed together all week. And they paired up in doubles, as well, teaming up to win that title.

"That was really fun. Obviously, we won in doubles," Reid said. "You're playing against your friend. But you concentrate on winning and when you're finished, you're still friends again."

The win was the fourth in a row in the event for the world's ninth-ranked player.

Reid says he plays in about 20 tournaments a year, traveling 30 to 35 weeks a year.

Reid has grown fond of the Hilton Head Island event. And not just because he's won it all four years he's been here.

"It's probably one of my favorite tournaments," Reid said. "I've come here the last four years in a row. I just love the venue and the people are really friendly and the weather's good."

Welch, who first played the tournament in 1990 and won it three years in a row from 1999-2001, concurs.

"This is a wonderful tournament, Welch said. "It's a really big tennis atmosphere here."

Welch, who played professionally in the 1990s, only returned to playing about 18 months ago. Now ranked 18th in the world, he's trying to get back to the top eight because he wants a chance to play in the grand slams.

"All the top players have a pretty serious training regimen," Welch said, "and I'll never beat those players if I don't get more serious about training."

After expectations began to take the joy out of playing earlier in his career, Welch says he's at a different place this time around.

"I'm 40 now and I'm playing for fun and it's great," Welch said.

Top-seeded Lucy Shuker beat second-seeded Katharina Kruger 6-4, 6-2 in the Women's Open Singles final.

"I was a little up and down. I didn't play very well at the start, but it came together," said Shuker, the No. 1 seed.

Shuker, who was playing in her first event since winning the bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics in August, described the atmosphere surrounding the tournament as family.

"It's actually one of my favorite tournaments," she said.

Championship results

Men's Open Singles

(1) Gordon Reid d. (2) Stephen Welch 6-4, 6-2

Men's A Singles

(1) David Williams d. Aaron Gunn 6-3, 7-5

Women's Open Singles

(1) Lucy Shuker d. (2) Katharina Kruger 6-4, 6-2

Women's A Singles

(1) Denise Esrey d. Valeria Reyes-Chian 6-0, 7-5

Men's Open Doubles

(1) Reid/Welch d. (2) Baldwin/Cazeaudumec 6-4, 6-2

Men's A Doubles

(1) Matthews/Williams d. Burnham/Herman 6-2, 6-4

Men's B Doubles

Carnrike/Chapman d. (1) Keeter/Spence 6-2, 7-5

Men's C Doubles

Dominick/McCabe d. (1) Chapman/Popelka 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Women's Open Doubles

(1) Kruger/Shuker d. (2) Mardones/Sporte 6-0, 6-2

Quad Open Singles

(1) Bryan Barten d. David Buck 6-4, 6-2

Quad Open Doubles

(1) Cotterill/Field d. (2) Hasterok/Jordan 6-4, 5-7, 6-4

Junior Open/A Doubles

Herman/Wooten d. Kelley/Reyes-Chian 6-0, 4-6, 6-4

Women's A Doubles

Chapman/McCabe d. Burnett/Dietrichson 6-1, 6-1

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