Photo: Steve WylieDavid Wagner (USA)
World No. 1 David Wagner will play Australia’s Dylan Alcott in Saturday’s quad singles final at the USTA/ITF Fab-U-Life Desert Classic as world No. 10 and former leading junior Alcott bids to enhance his rapidly-growing reputation in his first ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour event in the Unites States since rediscovering wheelchair tennis last September.
Saturday’s final will also see USA’s Wagner and Alcott meet for the second time this season after Wagner beat the Australian in three close sets in the round-robin phase of the quad singles at the Australian Open in January.
Wagner eased to a 60 61 win over his doubles partner Harry Boniface Prabhu of India in the semifinals of this week’s ITF 2 Series event in Tucson, Arizona, while Alcott also produced a fine performance to defeat current world No. 5 Greg Hasterok 61 61, thereby denying the local fans of an all-American final.
Alcott entered the world’s top 10 in late January after making the most of his wildcard for the Australian Open, where he beat world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne and pushed Wagner and world No. 2 Lucas Sithole close. Former world No.4 ranked junior Alcott was classified as a quad division player in the second half of 2013 and his final against Wagner in Tucson provides a fascinating prospect as he once again pits himself against the vastly experienced six-time year-end world No. 1.
With two sets of round-robin matches also already played in the quad doubles, Alcott and his American partner David Buck remain unbeaten after edging out Prabhu and Wagner 64 46 (10-7) in a deciding championship tiebreak.
Men’s seeds progress to semifinals
All four seeds have progressed to the semifinals of the men’s singles in Tucson, with fourth seed Ben Weekes being the only one of them to have to go to three sets in his quarterfinal.
Weekes recovered from a slow start to defeat Argentina’s Ezequiel Casco 26 60 63 and he will now meet British second seed Marc McCarroll after McCarroll powered past American John Becker 60 60. Japanese world No. 8 and top seed Takuya Miki and Australian third seed Adam Kellerman will contest the other semifinal after both recording comfortable straight sets wins in their quarterfinals.
All four players will also meet in the men’s doubles final after top seeds McCarroll and Miki beat American Steve Baldwin and Thomas Vinatier of France 62 60. Second seeds Kellerman and Weekes had a much tougher time in their semifinal, but held on to defeat Belgium’s Mike Denayer and Austria’s Martin Legner 63 75.
The second day of round-robin matches in the women’s singles ended in victories for German’s Katharina Kruger and Britain’s Louise Hunt, who also won their opening women’s doubles round-robin match together.
Kruger beat Denmark’s Louise Willersley-Olsen 60 60 to clinch her second singles win of the week, while Hunt is also unbeaten in two singles matches after her 64 62 win over Japan’s Miho Nijo.
Hunt and Kruger eased to a 60 61 win over American partnership Dana Mathewson and Nettie St. Cyr in their first two doubles round-robin matches. There was a thrilling conclusion to the other women’s doubles match on the second day’s play as Nijo and Willersley-Olsen edged out Matthewson and Cyr 67(11) 62 (10-8).