21 Jul 2013

Gerard, Ellerbrock, Sithole win British Open titles

Match Report

Photo: James Jordan PhotographyJoachim Gerard (BEL)

World No. 6 and fifth seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium defeated world No. 2 Stephane Houdet of France 62 36 63 to win the men’s singles title as the 24th British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, came to an end at Nottingham Tennis Centre on Sunday.

Gerard’s first Super Series victory came the day after Lucas Sithole became the first African player to win a Super Series title beating American world No. 1 David Wagner 75 67(4) 64 in the quad singles final. Meanwhile, world No. 1 Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany won her first British Open women’s singles title with a 06 62 75 win over Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot.

Gerard wins first Super Series title

The men’s singles final took place indoors after a change in weather, from the hot and sunny conditions that had greeted the players on the first four days of the tournament, and Gerard raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set.

However, Houdet dominated much of the second set leading 5-1 before forcing the decider. Nevertheless, Gerard regrouped to take a 3-0 lead in the final set and maintained his advantage to secure the first Super Series singles title of his career.

“It’s amazing. I’ve played amazing all week,” said Gerard, who was playing in his second Super Series final since early June. “I played a great first set. I only played two bad games. After the second set I focused more and managed to come back. It’s an amazing feeling. I hope I can continue to take this into my future tournaments.”

Houdet ends the British Open having won the men’s doubles title after partnering Dutchman Ronald Vink to victory on Saturday’s penultimate day of play.

Griffioen and van Koot win women’s doubles

Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and van Koot claimed their third successive British Open women’s doubles title, the top seeds defeating second seeds Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane 62 75.

From 2-1 down Griffioen and van Koot won the last five games of the opening set, their experience partnership proving crucial. Buis and Montjane gained an immediate break at the start of the second set and maintained that cushion through to leading 5-3. However, Griffioen and van Koot fought back to claim four games in a row and seal another British Open title to add to the two Wimbledon titles they have won in the last two years.

“We were very pleased with the first set, but we let the wind affect us in the second set and they played a lot stronger, too.” said Griffioen.

“We work well together, because we can criticise each other and compliment each other, depending on how things are going, and we know each other so well, so we’re absolutely delighted to keep the title,” said van Koot.

Hunter and Wagner win quad doubles

Sarah Hunter of Canada and Wagner won the quad doubles for their third Super Series title together this season after beating Britain’s Antony Cotterill and American Greg Hasterok, the second seeds, 61 61.

Hunter and Wagner, who claimed their first British Open title as partners, having finished as runners-up in 2010, dropped just the fourth game of the opening set. Cotterill and Hasterok won the opening game of the second set, but thereafter Hunter and Wagner controlled the remainder of the match and their loss in the 2010 British Open final remains their only defeat in eight tournaments together.

“it was different today, because the extreme heat we had earlier in the week had gone and it was quite cold. But we had a plan and stuck to it and it paid off,” said Hunter.

“We just aimed to play well and we knew that if we played well we could take the title, so it’s very nice to win another British Open title,” said Wagner.

The all-British mixed doubles final went to Marc McCarroll and Jordanne Whiley, who beat David Phillipson and Louise Hunt 62 61. After building on a comfortable 5-1 first set lead, they dropped only the opening game in the second set.

“It’s been a great experience to get together and play some mixed doubles and very enjoyable,” said McCarroll. “It’s been played at some other Super Series events that we’ve not been at together, so it was fantastic to get the chance this time.”