Dermot Bailey earned a welcome boost ahead of next week’s BNP Paribas World Team Cup when he wrapped up both the men’s singles and doubles titles at the Bulle Open in Switzerland last weekend.
The Kettering 24-year-old’s first wheelchair tennis tournament since February’s Preston Indoor saw him better his second-seeding after beating Belgium’s Ivan Kindt, Raphael Gremion of Switzerland and Irael’s Guy Sasson in straight sets to book his place in Sunday’s final against fourth seed Sebastien Husser.
Bailey then made it three successive victories over Husser, winning their latest encounter 6-3, 6-1 for his first singles title since the 2017 Sheffield ITF Futures.
Bailey said: “It was a bit of an odd one. After a three-month training block I was excited to go back to playing tournament matches for the first time.
“I knew I was playing well in training, but I didn’t know how it would translate into matches.
“It was more about getting a good performance in for me, so it was great to get the title playing the tennis I wanted to play rather than just winning by playing ugly.”
Bailey completed his brace of titles partnering Belgium’s Mike Denayer.
The top seeds dropped three games in their opening two men’s doubles matches and held firm against strong opposition to beat French second seeds Laurent Fischer and Husser 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the final.
Selected by the Tennis Foundation for the third successive year to be part of a three-strong Great Britain men’s team for next week’s World Team Cup in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, Bailey is hoping that the team’s trend of medal progression continues and brings a golden outcome this time.
“It’s really exciting this year, I think we’ve got a good chance of winning it,” Bailey, who again lines up alongside fellow Brits and top five ranked players Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, added.
“We got bronze two years ago and silver last year, so it would be nice to go and win it this time.
“Obviously it’s going to be tough, there are quite a few teams that have a chance of winning it, but the three of us get on really well, so we’ll be able to go and enjoy our
time off the court as well as on it,”
“I played in three matches two years ago and two last year, so I’ll be ready to get on court when called and to support the rest of the time.”
With just two tournaments under his belt this season Bailey’s ranking had dropped to outside the world’s top 80 before the Bulle Open, but his Swiss singles title takes the Corby Tennis Centre player back inside the world’s top 70 as he looks to build back towards his career best at No. 38.
He said: “After the World Team Cup I’ve got tournaments in Slovakia and Spain before the British Open in Nottingham in July.
“As of next week I’ll only have decent points from seven tournaments counting towards my ranking total, so there’s plenty of scope to improve considerably for the rest of the season."