Hunter-Spivey takes gold in Egypt

Hunter-Spivey takes gold in Egypt

Paralympic bronze medallist Jack Hunter-Spivey took gold in the men’s class 5 singles at the Egypt Para Open in Ismailia today and Joshua Stacey took silver in the men’s class 9 singles.

Top seed Hunter-Spivey received a bye into the semi-finals after winning his group. His opponent was Ehab Fetir and the former top 10 player from Egypt started well, taking the first set and edging the second 13-11 to lead 2-0. Hunter-Spivey fought back to level at 2-2 and then held his nerve in the decider to take it 13-11 and the match 3-2.

The 26-year-old from Liverpool had to fight hard again in the final against the experienced Belgian Bart Brands, coming back from 2-1 down to level at 2-2 before running away with the deciding set 11-1 to take the match 3-2 and the gold.

“It feels great to win my first tournament after Tokyo,” said Hunter-Spivey. “Everything I’ve been working on in the training hall is going well. I’ve had two absolute battles against two great opponents that could have gone either way, but I really applied what I’ve been working on at home. I didn’t play my best level overall, but I really did pull myself up by my bootstraps and got the job done and I’m really proud of myself for that.”

Last week’s Costa Brava Spanish Open champion Stacey also received a bye into the semi-finals as the winner of his group. The 22-year-old Welshman dropped the first set against Dezso Bereczki from Hungary but recovered to beat the former European medallist 3-1 and go through to the final where he faced the Paralympic, World and European champion Laurens Devos. The 21-year-old Belgian hasn’t lost a match in men’s class 9 since 2015 and although Stacey has made great progress since their only previous meeting in 2017 the World number one won in three close sets.

“Overall it was a positive singles tournament for me,” said Stacey. “Playing Devos for the second time was a good experience and I felt that I was in a lot of the points, but his quality really showed at the back end of the sets. I’m looking forward to the doubles now with Theo (Bishop) and Grace (Williams) and seeing what we can do.”

The tournament continues until Saturday with the doubles events.