Photo: Takeo TanumaSabine Ellerbrock (GER)
The world’s top two ranked players will meet in both the men’s singles and women’s singles finals on Sunday at the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in York, with Shingo Kunieda and Stephane Houdet set to contest their third Grand Slam final of the year.
Sabine Ellerbrock and Aniek van Koot will contest the women’s singles final as the Roland Garros and Australian Open champions also go head-to-head after a fascinating day of semifinals on Friday, when Lucas Sithole also guaranteed a thrilling conclusion to the round-robin phase of the quad singles.
World No. 7 Michael Jeremiasz arrived in New York having taken a set of tennis off Kunieda for the first time since 2009 when they met in St. Louis last week. Jeremiasz threatened to do the same in their men’s singles semifinal, but world No. 1 Kunieda came back from 3-1 down in the opening set and 3-0 down in the second set to complete a 75 75 victory and maintain his challenge for a fifth men’s singles title in New York.
Britain’s Gordon also threatened an upset as the world No. 6 took the opening set of his semifinal against world No. 2 Houdet for the loss of just the first game. However, Houdet raced to a 5-1 second set lead en route to forcing a decider and although Reid broke the Frenchman to briefly lead the final set, Houdet eventually wrapped up a 16 62 64 victory.
Houdet and Kunieda will now meet a third Grand Slam men’s singles final this season, Kunieda having won the Australian Open before Houdet retains his Roland Garros title.
Ellerbrock to meet van Koot in women’s final
Van Koot and Ellerbrock have both won their first Grand Slam singles titles this season and the Australian Open and Roland Garros champions will meet in the women’s singles final in New York after world No. 2 van Koot held off a spirited performance from Japan’s Yui Kamiji in the semifinals.
After seeing van Koot eradicate her 5-2 lead in the opening set, world No. 4 Kamiji clinched the last two games to seize the initiative, only for van Koot to snatch the last two games of the second set. However, with Kamiji playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, van Koot’s experience finalyl saw her through to a 57 75 62 victory.
World No. 2 Ellerbrock also had to wait until the last two games before seizing the initiative in the first set of her semifinal against Dutch world No. 5 Marjolein Buis, but the German top seed went on to win eight of the last nine games for a 75 61 win.
Sithole upsets Wagner in quad singles
World No. 3 Lucas Sithole continued his fine start to his first Grand Slam with his third win this season over world No. 1 David Wagner, guaranteeing and enthralling third set of round-robin matches on Saturday, the when quad singles final line-up will be confirmed.
The South African put Wagner’s bid for a third successive US Open title under threat after recovering from a set and 2-0 down to complete a 16 64 61 victory over the American.
Sithole, Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and Wagner could still all end the round-robin phase of the quad singles on two wins apiece, with Lapthorne needing a convincing win in the last of his three matches against Sithole to keep his chance of reaching the final alive.
After winning the last two games in the opening set of his match against American world No. 4 Nick Taylor, world No. 2 Lapthorne built a 4-1 second set lead en route to a 64 64 win.
Doubles finalists decided
Saturday’s penultimate day of play in New York will see all three doubles titles decided after all four of Friday’s men’s and women’s doubles semifinals went to three sets.
After their first round singles losses, Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Joachim Gerard of Belgium moved a set and 4-1 up on second seeds Reid and Ronald Vink in their men’s doubles semifinal and then came from 4-1 down in the final set against the Roland Garros runners-up to defeat the second seeds 76(5) 67(5) 75.
There was also drama in the other semi as Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands ended Kunieda’s hopes of winning all four Grand Slam men’s doubles titles in the same season. After dropping the first four games of the opening set, Jeremiasz and Scheffers put together a sequence of seven games without to force a decider. Top seeds Houdet and Kunieda, the Roland Garros and Wimbledon champions, fought back from 4-1 down in the final set, but Jeremiasz and Scheffers held on for a 26 60 64 victory.
Second seeds Ellerbrock and Kamiji reached their second Grand Slam women’s doubles final together after beating Buis and Britain’s Lucy Shuker, this year’s Australian Open runners-up, 63 36 64. The 2012 Roland Garros runners-up will now play Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and van Koot.
Just days after losing to South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane and Britain’s Jordanne Whiley in straight sets in St. Louis, Griffioen and van Koot dominated the deciding set against the same opponents to move into the final in New York 76(3) 36 61.
Men's singles draw
Men's doubles draw
Women's singles draw
Women's doubles draw
Quad singles draw
Quad doubles draw
Order of Play - Saturday, 7 September 2013