Another career first awaits as Kettering’s Dermot heads to Tokyo

Kettering's Dermot Bailey
Kettering's Dermot Bailey

Kettering’s Dermot Bailey is set to mark another career first next week after being selected by the Tennis Foundation to represent Great Britain in the men’s event at the 2016 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, wheelchair tennis’s annual flagship team event, in Tokyo, Japan.

This year’s prestigious event takes place between May 23 and 28 at the Ariake Tennis Colosseum, the venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic tennis competitions.

Bailey, who has twice represented his country in the World Team Cup junior event, will make his senior debut in the men’s World Group alongside Great Britain team-mates Alfie Hewett, Marc McCarroll and Paul Stewart.

“When I represented Great Britain in Nottingham in 2009 and then in South Africa in 2011 I feel I played some of my best tennis as a junior in that environment and it’s an honour to be selected to play for my country in the men’s event this time,” said 22-year-old Bailey.

“Hopefully I can continue where I left off with the World Team Cup and produce some of my bet tennis now as senior and I’m excited for the opportunity after being selected by the Tennis Foundation.”

Bailey, currently the British number five ranked men’s player, has passed several career landmarks in recent months.

He ended 2015 inside the world top 50 for the first time before making his debut inside the world’s top 40 for the first time in January and achieved a career best men’s singles ranking of 38 at the end of March.

His last tournament before flying to Japan later this week saw Bailey reach the men’s singles semi-finals and the men’s doubles final over the weekend at the ITF 3 Series Open de Vendee in Roche sur Yon, France.

He reached the last four of the men’s singles for the loss of jut three games after beating Spain’s Patxi Fadrique and David Grignon of France. However, his campaign came to end after a 6-2, 7-5 loss to China’s Zujun Wei.

Bailey also partnered Gaetan Menguy of France to the final of the men’s doubles after they also dropped just three games in their first two matches.

But once again Wei was on the other side of the net in the final with his French partner David Dalmasso and Wei and Dalmasso took the title 6-0, 7-6(4).

“I was very happy with how I played during the week and felt I played well against Wei, it was just that he was the better player on the day,” Bailey added.

“I was 5-4 up in the second set and he found three massive serves.

“He’s had a very good season so far and is really in-form. The first set of the doubles final was a lot closer than the score suggests. There were four deciding deuces and they all went to our opponents, but in terms of how I was playing, I felt good ahead of a big week now in Japan.”