Bailey makes big breakthrough in Switzerland

Dermot Bailey
Dermot Bailey

Kettering wheelchair tennis player Dermot Bailey has made career breakthroughs in the world singles and doubles rankings this week after reaching two finals at the Martigny Indoor in Switzerland.

After early straight sets wins over Thomas Suter and Christophe Vouillamoz, Bailey earned his third successive men’s singles win over a Swiss player in thrilling circumstances in Martigny, defeating top seed Daniel Pellegrina 7-5, 7-6(5) to book his place in the final.

However, Bailey’s bid for his first career main draw singles title at ITF Futures level ended with a 7-6(3), 6-1 loss to French second seed Sebastien Husser.

As a result of his Swiss success Bailey has moved up eight places to No. 79 in this week’s men’s singles world rankings published by the International Tennis Federation and has improved his ranking by more than 100 places this season.

“It was a good tournament for me, but after going to a tie-break in the first set of the final I’ve come away feeling that I can beat Husser and I would have liked to, but I beat Pellegrina, who’s ranked inside the world’s top 45, so that’s a good result,” said Bailey, who is supported by the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

Bailey partnered fellow Brit Paul Stewart in the doubles and the second seeds beat two all-Swiss partnerships en route to the final, defeating Martin Erni and Yann Avanthey 6-1, 6-2 before a 6-4, 6-4 semi-final win over Herbert Keller and Thomas Von Daeniken.

Bailey and Stewart again made a good start in the final against top seeds Husser and Pellegrina, but the Swiss partnership fought back to claim a deciding championship tie-break for a 6-7, 6-2, (10-1) victory.

“That’s my third doubles final of the year and my first doubles event with Paul, so after making such a good start and with that experience behind us hopefully we can get a different result next week when we’re going back to Switzerland for the Birrhard Open,” said 19-year-old Bailey.