Louise Hunt sits on the verge of returning to the world’s top ten this week after the Wanborough Paralympian gained her latest wheelchair tennis title at the Bucharest Open in Romania over the weekend.
Hunt has moved up one place to No.11, just 80 points shy of her career best women’s singles ranking at No.10, after completing the ITF 3 Series event by also partnering fellow Brit Lauren Jones to the women’s doubles final.
Hunt and Jones, both members of the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme, met in the women’s singles quarter-finals in Bucharest as Hunt got her challenge underway with a 6-2, 6-4 victory following a first round bye.
The British No. 3 powered past Spanish third seed Lola Ochoa 6-2, 6-0 to reach the final and held on to defeat American second seed Kaitlyn Verfuerth 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the final, earning her second successive singles title after victory in last month’s Israel Open.
Hunt’s success in Romania ensured a victorious end to her last tournament before the international ranking qualification window for the Rio Paralympics closes in the next two weeks.
“It was a challenging few days with lots of rain, which meant we had to change between outdoor and indoor courts and venues, but I’ve got to say the tournament organisers did a great job in ensuring we could get through all the matches,” said Hunt. “It was the best I’ve played all year at a tournament from start to finish and I’m really happy to have maintained that high level of performance against some strong opposition all the way through.”
After winning singles and doubles titles in Israel last month, Hunt came agonisingly close to making it a brace of titles once again as she and Jones moved into the women’s doubles final in Bucharest for the loss of just four games. The Brits made a stirring comeback after a slow start to the final against Vefuerth and Turkey’s Busra Un, but Verfuerth and Un just had the edge in the deciding match tie-break to prevail 6-0, 4-6, (11-9).