Shuker controls emotions to reach British Open final

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Tennis - Eastbourne International - Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, Eastbourne, Britain - June 23, 2022 Britain's Lucy Shuker in action during her quarter final match against China's Zhenzhen Zhu Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Lucy Shuker bounced back from a second set tiebreak defeat to take the third set 6-2

Lucy Shuker admitted she had to control her emotions to battle through a three-set thriller against Pauline Deroulede and reach her first ever final at the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham.

Third seed Shuker, who is supported by the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, overcame France’s Deroulede 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 to keep herself in contention of claiming the crowd.

And the Hampshire ace admitted that she had to keep her emotions in check to bounce back from losing the second set in a tie-break and secure her spot in a long-awaited final.

“I just had to focus up on that third set and just try not to get ahead of myself or get angry with myself and frustrated,” said Shuker, 42.

“Sometimes you can want it too much and then you put too much pressure on yourself, so I just tried to stay calm and execute my game and I think that happened in the third set.

“I almost let it flow and it was a really good third set. I’m chuffed to bits, super happy.”

Shuker looked set for the final after taking the first set 6-3 but was pegged back by world No.20 Deroulede in an enthralling second set that had to be decided by a tie-break.

The French ace took the tiebreak 7-1 and looked to have the momentum going into the deciding set.

But Shuker fought back to take the final set 6-2 and qualify for the final against top seed Aniek van Koot.

“I turned it round in the third, that was a battle,” admitted Shuker.

“To be fair to Pauline, she played the tie-break really solid.  My returns were going into her hit zone and if I can’t get it away from her then she had the upper hand.

“It was a tough match, Pauline played really well, played the conditions well. To get to the final is amazing, it’s our home tournament, so we always want to do well here.”

For more information on the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships click here

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