Confirmation athlete Grace Williams is through to the semi-finals of the women’s class 7-9 singles tomorrow at the Montenegro Para Championships in Podgorica. Lee York lost in the quarterfinals of men’s class 4 and Andrew Guy (men’s class 2), Dan Bullen (men’s class 5) and Theo Bishop (men’s class 7) all went out of their respective events at the group stage after some very close matches.
Women’s class 7-9
Williams faced the class 8 World number two Aida Dahlen from Norway in her opening match and the 31-year-old two-time European champion and World and Paralympic bronze medallist was too strong in a 3-0 win. Williams then beat 22-year-old Maria Kaipi from Greece 3-1 and secured her place in the semi-finals with a fine 3-1 win against Magdalena Sutkowska Pawlasek from Poland who had won their only previous meeting 3-0 at the French Para Open last year.
Men’s class 2
Andrew Guy lost his first match to World number 11 Goran Perlic, the three-time European team medallist from Serbia 3-0 and was then beaten 3-0 by Peter Lovas from Slovakia. He lost his final match to the three-time European team bronze medallist from Spain, Iker Sastre, 3-0.
Men’s class 4
Lee York was beaten 3-0 by the Paralympic team bronze medallist and former World number three Peter Mihalik from Slovakia but then played really well to beat Sebastian Vegsund, the European team bronze medallist from Norway, 3-1 to progress to the knockout stages. In the quarterfinal he played Tomislav Spalj, the bronze medallist in the Costa Brava Spanish Open in March who had beaten York in the Slovenia Open last month, and the Croatian was just too good again today, winning in three competitive sets.
Men’s class 5
Dan Bullen had a tough opening match against European silver medallist Mitar Palikuca from Serbia and the World number six and former World and Paralympic medallist was a 3-0 winner. He needed to win his final group match against Daniel Staszak to progress to the semi-finals and fought back from 2-1 down to edge the fourth set 14-12 but the 39-year-old from Poland took the deciding set 11-9 for a 3-2 win.
Men’s class 7
Theo Bishop put up a great performance against the 28-year-old European team bronze medallist from Poland Michal Deigsler, twice fighting back to level before the World number 18, silver medallist in the Costa Brava Spanish Open in March, took the deciding set 11-7. Bishop followed that with a comfortable 3-0 win against Zoran Cabarkapa from Montenegro and played another good match against Ben Despineux but the two-time European team champion and World team bronze medallist from Belgium used all his experience to win the match 3-1 and deny Bishop a place in the quarterfinals.
The British athletes competing in Montenegro are:
Theo Bishop, 19 - Bury (class 7)
Dan Bullen, 24 - St Neots (class 5)
Andrew Guy, 37 - Bovey Tracey (class 2)
Grace Williams, 19 - Wrexham/Sheffield (class 8)
Lee York, 33 - Wakefield (class 4)