The Birmingham Classic kicked off on Thursday at Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga, as some of the world’s best players compete from August 24-27. Over the course of the four-day tournament, 30 players from ten nations have traveled to the Ontario Racquet Club for a chance to claim a title.
As an ITF 1 series event, and part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, this prestigious tournament is one of six ITF sanctioned wheelchair tennis events in Canada. There are singles and doubles draws for the men’s, women’s, and quad divisions.
On Thursday, 17-year-old Puisand Lai of Toronto impressed in the women’s singles division, capturing a 6-0, 6-2 victory over fellow Canadian Gillian Cruz Rivera. Lai was a member of Canada’s 2017 World Team Cup junior team and will resume her run at the Birmingham Classic against No. 1 seed Yui Kamiji of Japan on Friday.
The No. 1 seed in the Quad singles draw sent a Canadian packing early. American David Wagner delivered a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Ontario’s Gary Luker. In the same division, No. 2 seed Heath Davidson of Australia defeated Bryan Barten of the United States 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) to advance to the second round.
In an all-Canadian match up in the men’s singles draw, Marko Golic defeated compatriot Shawn Courchesne 6-0, 6-0 in the opening round of action. The win sets up Golic to meet No. 1 seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium in Friday’s action. Fellow Canuck Robert Shaw also notched a straight set victory on Thursday, defeating Julio Rueda of Argentina 6-0, 6-0.
Also on Friday, Canada’s Tara Llanes sees her 2017 campaign get underway after receiving a first round bye. Llanes takes on No. 3 seed Lucy Shuker in the women’s singles main draw.
For full order of play, complete scores, and more please visit the official tournament website here, and swing by Mississauga’s Ontario Racquet Club from August 24-27 to catch the world-class action for yourself; admission to the four-day event is free of charge.