A Strong Start to the Year Down Under
Marking her 12th appearance at Melbourne Park, Shuker reached a third Australian Open singles semi-final after an emphatic victory over World No.6 Zhenzhen Zhu (CHN) 6-2, 6-2.
The British No.1 then went on to partner Japan’s Yui Kamiji to defeat Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands and Zhenzhen Zhu of China 6-2, 6-3 in their doubles semi-final. After delivering the final topspin forehand that drew the error off Griffioen’s racket on match point, Shuker said:
“I think that the match was a little bit patchy and a little bit inconsistent, but we’re happy with the win. it’s great playing with Yui. She moves incredibly well. She strikes the ball really well, both in singles and doubles. So to have her on my side of the court, it’s great. I don’t think the match was particularly great. I don’t think it necessarily showcased great tennis from either end, but we made less mistakes than our opponents and executed the game plan reasonably well.”
Losing out to World No. 1, Diede De Groot in the singles Semi-Final 1-6, 5-7, World No.9 Shuker said:
“The first set Diede was pretty on it. Her balls were coming through heavy. But in the second set I was getting myself in positions to get a bit more of a strike on the ball and Diede was making more mistakes. So you’ve got to take some confidence from that for the doubles final and for going forward when I go back to training.”
In the women’s doubles final, Lucy Shuker and Yui Kamiji put up a tremendous effort before ultimately losing out to Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot 7-5, 3-6, 10-2.
After contesting her ninth Grand Slam double final, Shuker said:
“I think we played some really good tennis together. We moved and covered the court well and we were striking (the ball) well. Maybe just a couple of errors in the first cost us that that first set, having been up. But then a great second set, we cut the errors out and our balls were causing them problems. It was just a bit of a sloppy third set (match tie-break), unfortunately.”
Shuker's success at Melbourne Park will now see her return to World No.6 in the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Rankings on Monday.