By James Crook

2013 Aegon Classic Disability Tennis Demo 600x300June 16 - Four of Britain's top disabled tennis players have been in action on the new Ann Jones Centre Court at the Edgbaston Priory Club, entertaining crowds with an exhibition match following the women's singles final at the Aegon Classic.

Wheelchair tennis players Gordon Reid and Lucy Shuker, Britain's number one-ranked male and female players respectively, were joined by Deaflympians Lewis and Catherine Fletcher for a game of mixed doubles on the newly-opened court named after seven-time Grand Slam winner Ann Jones.

The 21-year-old Reid, who has surged up the world rankings to number four with a string of impressive performances this season, teamed up with Catherine Fletcher, who was named in Britain's Deaflympics squad that will travel to Sofia next month, along with husband Lewis, who was joined by London 2012 women's doubles bronze medallist Shuker for a 40-minute exhibition match.

Recently appointed Tennis Foundation deaf tennis coach Catherine said: "It was great fun to play in front of the crowd at the Aegon Classic today and they seemed to really enjoy seeing a different version of tennis than they are used to.

"We just want to spread the word about deaf tennis as much as possible, both for people to start watching it more and also for deaf people who might not have thought about playing it before."

reidscheffersGordon Reid (left) and Dutch doubles partner Maikel Scheffers (right) will be searching for glory at Wimbledon in the men's wheelchair tennis doubles

Lewis added: "I'd really encourage people just to give it a go as it's so much fun and has brought so much to our lives."

Fresh from competing on clay at Roland Garros last month, Reid and Shuker now turn their attention to competing on the grass courts at Wimbledon, where Reid will team up with former world number one Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands in the men's doubles, and Shuker will partner world number four Marjolein Buis, also of the Netherlands, in the women's doubles.

"I enjoyed being back in front of a home crowd for the first time since the Paralympics last summer and it's great to have the opportunity to play at events like the Aegon Classic and keep raising awareness of wheelchair tennis," said Reid, who reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros in the doubles event.

Last year's Wimbledon women's doubles runner-up Shuker said: "It was actually nice preparation for Wimbledon to have a hit on such a lovely grass court at Edgbaston and I'm looking forward to getting back on grass at SW19 in a few weeks,"

The Tennis Foundation's disability development tennis manager Dave Hillier said: "This is an exciting time for disability tennis in the Midlands as we've got lots of activity going on supported by the Tennis Foundation and LTA and it was great to be able to show some of our most talented players here at the Aegon Classic today," he said.

"There is a lot of hard work being done across the country as part of the Tennis Foundation's disability tennis networks as we look to provide more opportunities for disabled people to have fun playing tennis."

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