Britain’s Lucy Shuker and Turkey’s Ahmet Kaplan celebrate winning wheelchair tennis bronze medals ©EPC

Britain's Lucy Shuker and Turkey's Ahmet Kaplan won the first wheelchair tennis silverware of the inaugural European Para Championships after winning their bronze-medal matches here.

Kaplan claimed the first medal of the day when he defeated Slovakia’s Tomas Masaryk 6-3, 6-2 in the men’s quad singles before Shuker overcame Germany's Katharina Kruger for women’s singles bronze at the Victoria Tennishal in Rotterdam.

It was an historic moment for wheelchair tennis which has never previously held a European Championships.

There was a 23-year difference between Kaplan and Masaryk and it was the younger player that came out the more aggressively.

Kaplan won his opening two games with ease before threatening to break 44-year-old Masaryk’s serve, with back-to-back winners.

The Turkish player was awarded two break point opportunities after Masaryk registered his first double fault.

The chance was spurned by Kaplan who hit a couple of unforced errors before Masaryk held firm to draw level at 2-2.

The pair continued to trade games with heavy-hitter Kaplan looking more dangerous.

Kaplan’s pressure eventually told, securing the break to move 5-3 ahead after threading a forehand down the line.

There were no mistakes from Kaplan in the next game, sealing the set with another winner.

Turkey’s Ahmet Kaplan claimed men's quad singles bronze following a straight sets victory ©EPC
Turkey’s Ahmet Kaplan claimed men's quad singles bronze following a straight sets victory ©EPC

Masaryk was noticeably frustrated as he lost his opening service game in the second set.

Kaplan had all the momentum, but a loose game allowed Masaryk to get back on level terms.

The pair struggled to hold serve as they traded breaks before Kaplan took a 4-2 advantage when Masaryk netted.

Kaplan broke again as Masaryk went long as he closed in on the bronze medal.

Masaryk managed to save three match points but was unable to stave off a fourth as Kaplan clipped the back of the baseline.

"I really wanted to be in the hunt for the medals," said an emotional Kaplan.

"Yesterday I was in the semi-finals and I really wanted the gold medal.

"I couldn’t make it but I won this match.

"It was really hard.

"I pushed a lot."

Shuker came under early pressure as she had to save two break points on her way to winning the opening game of her bronze-medal match.

The Briton took the next only for Katharina Kruger to break back before levelling at 2-2 but she kept troubling the German.

Kruger survived one break point in the fifth game but pushed a forehand wide to give Shuker a 4-2 lead.

Shuker was unable to hold serve but secured another break when Kruger double faulted to move 5-3 in front.

Kruger refused to give up on the opening set, breaking back immediately before levelling at 5-5 and then nailed a backhand crosscourt to edge 6-5 in front.

But the German failed to serve out the set and Shuker seized her opportunity, surging into a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak.

It was not plain sailing for Shuker who saw four set points come and go but dug deep to take it 9-7.

The start of the second set remained tight as both players failed to hold their serve in the opening four games.

Shuker upped her level to break again before crucially holding for a 4-2 lead when Kruger fired a backhand into the net.

It was the decisive moment as Shuker hit another brilliant winner to move within one game of victory.

Shuker then served out the match, sealing bronze after Kruger went long.

"I don’t feel like I have played my best tennis and was missing some easier shots," said Shuker.

There were plenty of collision on the first day of wheelchair basketball action in Rotterdam  ©EPC
There were plenty of collision on the first day of wheelchair basketball action in Rotterdam ©EPC

"I had to dig deep and find better length to stop her being able to attack me.

"I had to focus and play my better tennis."

The two wheelchair tennis bronzes were only medals awarded on the fourth day of the European Para Championships.

Goalball action continued at the Rotterdam Ahoy with two victories for France, while hosts The Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden and Spain also triumphed.

It was the opening day of wheelchair basketball competition, with Spain's women's team starting proceedings with a 73-28 trashing of Turkey.

The women’s event also saw reigning Paralympic champions The Netherlands open their account with a 97-35 trouncing of France and Germany beat Britain 48-43.

In the men’s matches, there were wins for Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with medals set to be awarded in boccia and wheelchair tennis.