Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne
It was an action-packed Friday at the IGA Stadium for day two of the Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. The top-seeded men continued to dominate, Quebec’s Natalia Lanucha added another win to her perfect week, and Canadian Paralympian Rob Shaw (ON) made his tournament debut in singles.
On the men’s side, the top-four seeds – Thomas Venos (BC), Jean-Paul Mélo (QC), Barry Henderson (BC), and Shawn Courchesne (ON) – convincingly won their final round-robin matches to clinch a spot in the quarter-finals. Joining them will be Marko Golic (ON), Souheil Saab (AB), Carl Desbiens (QC), and Johnathan Tremblay (QC).
Natalia Lanucha improved her record to 3-0 on the week in the women’s draw. She’s currently at the top of the leaderboard, just above Anne-Marie Dolinar (ON) and Candice Combdon (ON). Combdon, who played in her first-ever Birmingham Nationals in 2019, registered her first win at the event today in an impressive 6-2, 6-2 victory.
In the quad division, five-time Birmingham Nationals champion Shaw took to the courts against his good friend and doubles partner Gary Luker. In his first singles match of the event, Shaw got the best of Luker, winning in two sets by a score of 6-0, 6-3. The pair have had some intense battles throughout the years, including a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory by Shaw at the 2015 Birmingham Nationals.
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