Jordanne Whiley wants to bring home a golden gift for Jackson
The 29-year-old from Halesowen will make her fourth consecutive appearance on the sport’s biggest stage after being named alongside Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Andy Lapthorne, Lucy Shuker and Dermot Bailey to the wheelchair tennis team rolling ParalympicsGB of six people.
After making her Paralympic debut at the age of 16 in Beijing in 2008, 12-time Grand Slam champion Whiley won the doubles bronze alongside Shuker in London 2012 and Rio 2016.
After giving birth in 2018, Whiley believes the postponement of the Games boosted her golden ambitions this time around, although Covid-19 restrictions now mean she faces an extended break away from her young family.
“At first I thought the extra year was a hurdle, but now I think it’s a blessing,” said Whiley, who hopes to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by athletes from Britain and the UK. Northern Ireland since the advent of the national championship. Funding for the lottery in 1997. “I really needed that extra year just to lose some more weight, get back in shape and play other games.
“It would have been great if Jackson could have dated me, but he’s going to be left at home with my mom now.” It’s gonna be hard – probably more for me because he loves his nanny so much!
“I’ll set all my alarms on UK time to make sure I talk to him once a day, but I will have my team around me so I hope everything is okay.
“When you’re there you’re really focused, and reaching the gold medal game is what I’m looking for. I have two bronzes, so another color would be nice!
Whiley is one of more than 1,000 athletes in the UK’s National Lottery-funded World Class program, which allows her to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from a advanced technology, scientific and medical support.
A recent tilt to a third Roland Garros title gave Whiley valuable experience of an extended break away from her son, with her and longtime partner Yui Kamiji of Japan falling just off 6-3, 6 -4 to the Dutch pair Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in the final.
Kamiji also fell in the last hurdle of a women’s singles campaign at Roland Garros that involved beating Whiley in the quarter-finals, but the latter is ready to reverse that result if the pair’s paths cross in Tokyo.
“There were aspects of the French tour that I thought were really positive, but I still have areas to work on,” Whiley said. “After six months without competition, I feel like I’m back in the flow, with more games under my belt.
“Yui and I are used to playing against each other now – it’s our job. It wouldn’t be my first choice to play against someone who is a really good player in their home country, but if that happens, so be it.
“She’s my best friend and always will be – I’ve been to Japan with her before and picked strawberries!” We’ll keep in touch during the Games, but when we’re on the pitch, that’s business.
n No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than the national lottery players, who raise around £ 36million every week for good causes. Discover the positive impact of the national lottery on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo