Wheelchair tennis star Jamie Burdekin, sponsored by Hilary Meredith Solicitors, claimed his second international trophy in the last month after finishing runner-up in the quad doubles at the South Africa Open in Johannesburg over the weekend.
Burdekin, who partnered fellow Brit Andy Lapthorne to win the quad doubles at the ITF 1 Series Cajun Classic in Baton Rouge, USA, in March, is now eyeing further success at next month’s Japan Open. Like the South Africa Open, the tournament has Super Series status, which means it is one of the top six tournaments in the world outside of the Grand Slams.
The two-time Paralympian and Beijing 2008 quad doubles bronze medallist renewed a partnership in South Africa with American David Wagner as they sought to repeat their Super Series doubles success at last July’s British Open, where they teamed up together for the first time.
Easing into the semi-finals in Johannesburg without dropping a game, top seeds Burdekin and Wagner held off a much tougher challenge to beat Sweden’s Anders Hard and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the final.
With three Brits on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme in the title decider, Burdekin and Wagner made a solid start against the all-British partnership of Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne to take the opening set before bad light caused the final to be suspended. However, they were unable to replicate their success in the opening set in the final once the match resumed and Cotterill and Lapthorne went on to prevail 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“On the back of my success with Andy in the USA and my British Open title with David last year, I had high hopes in both singles and doubles. Between myself David, Andy and Ant you’ve got four of the world’s top five ranked doubles players, so it was always likely to be tough. It’s not been my best week of tennis and it’s been tough playing at altitude, but I will bounce back and I’m really looking forward to Japan and aiming for another Super Series crown,” said Burdekin, who bowed out of the quad singles to Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva in the quarter-finals in Johannesburg.
Burdekdin and Lapthorne paired up to face three-time Paralympic champions Nick Taylor and Wagner in two finals in the USA last month, narrowly losing their first match in Pensacola before gaining their latest victory over the world’s top ranked partnership to claim the Cajun Classic title. It was their third title as a partnership, having reached the final of every doubles event they have played together since first joining forces in 2009.
“I had to have six weeks out after I came back from playing in January Australia after dislocating a rib during my quarter-final at the Sydney Open, just a few days after taking the Australian world No. 2 to a decider in Queensland, so to lose some of that training time and come back and take the world No. 1 close in two singles semi-finals in the USA and beat the top pairing to win the doubles in Baton Rouge was really pleasing,” added Burdekin, who remains world ranked No. 5 in singles and doubles.
“Silva’s the only player ranked outside the world’s top two who has beaten me in singles this season and I beat him 6-1, 6-0 in Baton Rouge, so I know that wasn’t my true form and I’m looking forward to preparing well for Japan ahead of a busy summer.”