Photo: Reg CaldecottStephen Welch (USA)
Stephen Welch edged past fellow American Steve Baldwin in a final set tie-break to set up a contest against British top seed Gordon Reid in Sunday’s men’s singles final at the PTR Championships, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour
Saturday’s penultimate day of play on Hilton Head Island also saw Lucy Shuker of Great Britain keep herself on track as she tries to regain the women’s singles title, with top seed Shuker and second seed Katharina Kruger of Germany winning through to the final.
Top seed Bryan Barten also remained on course in his quad singles title defence and he will now face fellow American David Buck in the final, while two of the three main draw doubles titles were also decided.
In the men’s singles second seed and former world No. 1 Welch came through narrowly to secure a 61 46 76(3) win over Baldwin, but world No. 9 Reid proved dominant in his semifinal, moving to within one match of a possible fourth successive PTR Championships title after powering past French third seed Frederic Cazeaudumec 60 60.
All four singles finalists also played two men’s doubles matches in the same day and after both partnerships had eased into the final it was top seeds Reid and Welch that beat second seeds Baldwin and Cazeaudumec 64 62 to claim the title.
After finishing runner-up on Hilton Head last year Shuker booked her place in another women’s singles final after easing past Jessica Sporte 60 60. Kruger also reached the final in straight sets after beating third seed Francisca Mardones of Chile 62 62 in her semifinal.
As in the men’s singles and doubles, the four women’s singles semifinalists also met again in the women’s doubles final. But after Mardones and Sporte had had to come back from dropping a first set tiebreak against all-American duo Jan Proctor and Lynn Seidemann in their semifinal, there was no way back for them in the final Kruger and Shuker secured the title 60 62. Reid and Shuker have now both won four successive doubles title at the tournament.
Barten had a tough quad singles semifinal, but came through 63 64 against Britain’s Adam Field. The world No. 10 will now face his compatriot Buck, who beat a seeded player for the second day in a row and reached the final after defeating second seed Antony Cotterill of Great Britain 62 62.
Barten saw his chances of winning the quad doubles end in the semifinals, when top seeds Cotterill and Field beat Barten and Eric Daniels 64 63. But with Cotterll and Field level at 5-5 in the second set of the final against American second seeds Greg Hasterok and David Jordan, the match was suspended on Saturday evening due to rain.
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