Jordanne Whiley wins bronze medal in Paralympic tennis singles

Paralympic bronze was worth its weight in gold to Halesowen's Jordanne Whiley, who proclaimed Tokyo singles success as the happiest moment of her life.


              
Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley reacts to winning the Women's singles bronze medal match  at the Ariake Tennis Park during day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.
Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley reacts to winning the Women's singles bronze medal match at the Ariake Tennis Park during day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.

That means something coming from the Halesowen star, who gave birth to son Jackson in 2018 and won her first Wimbledon title as a mother in June.

The wheelchair tennis star beat Aniek van Koot 6-4 6-7 6-4 in a pulsating contest under the roof on Centre Court to reach the Paralympic singles podium for the first time.

“It’s such an amazing achievement for me, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” said Whiley.

“I just said to myself at the end: ‘I did it.’ Obviously it’s not gold, but for me, this feels like gold.

“I’ve never done this before and given everything that’s happened in the last two years, came back, had a baby and struggled with getting back to fitness.

“Before I had Jackson, I was injured 24/7 and to get my body in a state where it can compete at the top level, I’m really proud of myself.”

Whiley, who clinically converted ten of 15 break points she earned on the day, broke the Dutch third seed’s serve in the tenth game of the first set to take it in 46 minutes.

She committed 50 unforced errors in a bruising game and went down in a tie break that settled a second set lasting nearly an hour.

Despite struggling on her serve, sheer bloody-mindedness saw Whiley to an emotional victory in two hours and 35 minutes.

“She gave me everything today, both of us left everything out on the court,” said Whiley.

“We were very neck-and-neck, that match could have gone either way. I just kept fighting.

“I had a small injury in my leg, which is ironic, but I honestly thought I was going down.

“I kept telling myself to fight through every point because you never know in tennis. You’ve got to battle to the last point and that’s what I did.”

Whiley’s Tokyo campaign is far from over and she has a shot at gold in the women’s doubles alongside Lucy Shuker.

A quick turnaround is in store with Van Koot once again lying in wait alongside Diede de Groot, the dominant force in the singles game.

“She’s going to come at us all guns blazing, I expect,” said Whiley.

“They’re an amazing team, they’re number one in the world for a reason.

“We’ve played them many times, so we know what to expect. We’ve just got to be on our A game.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers to eat better has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury’s visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/ and https://paralympics.org.uk/

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