Kettering's Dermot is relishing his American dream after title joy

Dermot Bailey has claimed back-to-back titles and is now relishing the prospect of playing in America later this month
Dermot Bailey has claimed back-to-back titles and is now relishing the prospect of playing in America later this month

Kettering’s Dermot Bailey is relishing the chance to play in North America for just the second time later this month after celebrating back-to-back men’s singles titles in Europe.

Bailey, who is part of the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme, successfully retained his title at the Return Cup in Budapest on Sunday to make it eight successive straight sets wins two weeks, following his victory at the Brno Cup in the Czech Republic.

The 25-year-old British No.3 and third seed beat Austrian second seed Martin Legner 6-2, 7-6(7) in the semi-finals in Budapest before defeating Dutchman Carlos Anker 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

A week earlier Bailey beat seven-time Paralympian Legner 6-1, 6-3 in the final in Brno.

Bailey, who remains at his career best ranking of No.31 this week, said: “I’m really happy with how the week went.

“But it’s a different pressure when you’re defending points.

“I felt I had one bad match, which was against Legner, and needed four or five match points, but I managed to get through that so it gave me a lot of confidence for the final.”

Bailey now has two weeks at home before heading to the USA for the PTR Championships on Hilton Head Island and then moves on Tennis Canada’s International Wheelchair Championships in Montreal.

He added: “The last two weeks were about getting points on the board for the rest of the year and I’ve done exactly what I needed to do.

“Now I can go to North America in two weeks’ time looking for good performances against potentially higher ranked opponents rather than chasing points.

“The draw for Hilton Head looks really tough but that’s what I want.

It’s a different group of players to those I have been playing recently and it’s what I want and need to be doing at this stage.

“There are some top 10 players and quite a few from the top 20, so I’m looking forward to the challenge."