Great Britain’s men’s deaf tennis team will play for a medal at the World Deaf Tennis Team Championships this weekend in Antalya, Turkey after finishing unbeaten at the top of their five-nation round-robin group.
Esah Hayat (East Finchley, London) and Lewis Fletcher (Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire), both won their round-robin ties 2-1 and will now go on to play Japan in Friday’s semi-finals in the Dresse Cup, the men’s world team championship.
16-year-old Esah Hayat has made a sensational debut at the Championships, winning all four of his single matches to date in straight sets.
“I’m very pleased to be through to the semi-finals with Lewis. We’ve both been playing well and all the preparation we did before the trip is certainly proving very beneficial. Roll on the semis.”
With Great Britain starting the event without a top four seeding, Hayat and Fletcher’s victories so far have included wins over second seeds Germany, fourth seeds Austria, India and Hungary.
33-year-old Lewis Fletcher is playing in his fourth Dresse Cup for Great Britain this year. He made his debut in 2003, when he was a member of the Great Britain team that won silver in Poertschach, Austria.
“It’s been a great week so far. Esah been very solid in the singles, and I’ve had a few very tough singles matches, which means the doubles has been very important. I’ve also had to think about my body, as it’s been taking a battering.
“All the doubles training we have done has been paying off tremendously. My goal for the men’s team before coming here was to get out of the group and now we have won the group! It’s an amazing feeling! We will march on and see what the semi-final brings.”
Great Britain’s team of Phoebe Suthers and Valerie Copenhagen finished third in their round-robin group of four nations in the Maere Cup, the women’s world team championship, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over India. They play Japan for fifth place in the event.
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Photo credit: Tennis Foundation