Photo: Vincent Van Doornick/Philippe BuissinDavid Wagner (USA)
World No. 1 David Wagner of USA won his fifth NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters quad singles title on Saturday’s fourth and penultimate day of play in Mechelen, Belgium after beating Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain 64 62.
Both players held serve as the first two games of the final went to deuce, Lapthorne coming from 0-40 down in the second game to get on the scoreboard.
Wagner secured the first service break for a 3-1 lead and with Lapthorne’s concentration affected after he unsuccessfully challenged a line call Wagner soon made it 4-1 and then 5-1.
With Wagner serving for the first set Lapthorne converted the second of three break points to maintain his challenge and then saved two set points en route to making it 5-3 with some superb ground strokes.
Lapthorne completed a sequence of three games to make it 5-4, but Wagner had more set points in the tenth game and finally took the first set 6-4.
Lapthorne broke Wagner’s serve and then held his own serve, both for the loss of just two points i each of the first two games of the second set to make it 2-0, but Wagner came back strongly to win four games in quick succession and with the American becoming increasingly clinical, especially on his forehand, he moved to within a game of regaining the title.
In the last game Lapthorne netted a backhand to give Wagner two match points and the top seed slotted a winner down the line to become champion for the first time since 2008 as he beat Lapthorne for the second time in three days.
“It’s a real honour to see your name on the trophy more times than anyone else. It’s really cool,” said Wagner. “As I’ve said all week, you’ve got to be on your game because this is the NEC Masters and you’ve got the best players in the world here. It was a good match, enjoyable to play and I knew he wouldn’t just roll over, I knew he fight back with everything he had, so I just tried to stop that and to stay the course.”
World No. 8 Anders Hard ended his first NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters on a winning note as he claimed third place after defeating world No. 5 Nick Taylor of USA.
Hard won the last three games of the first set in the play-off and after taking a 4-1 lead in the second set he hung on to seal a 62 64 victory.
Men's and women's finalists decided
Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands ended the men’s singles title defence of world No. 1 Stephane Houdet of France in spectacular fashion in Saturday’s semifinals at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Mechelen, Belgium.
Scheffers will now face world No. 3 Shingo Kunieda of Japan in Sunday’s final, while world No. 2 Aniek van Koot and world No. 5 Jiske Griffioen will contest an all-Dutch women’s singles final.