Photo: Gregory PicoutDavid Wagner (USA)
Australia’s Dylan Alcott earned his first victory over South Africa’s world No. 2 Lucas Sithole on Saturday’s penultimate day of the BNP Paribas Open de France as all the 2013 champions earned the right to defend their titles in Sunday’s finals at the fourth Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in Antony, Paris.
Alcott will face USA’s world No. 1 David Wagner in the quad singles final, while the world’s top two ranked players will meet in the men’s and women’s singles finals, with Shingo Kunieda set to take on Stephane Houdet and Yui Kamiji facing Aniek van Koot.
World No. 4 Alcott beat Sithole 62 63 after the reigning US Open champion had won both their previous encounters in Australia in January, when 23-year-old Alcott was still in his first month of playing the sport competitively since his days as a junior.
After reaching his first Super Series final in a knockout draw, Alcott, the runner-up to Sithole at the Sydney International in a round-robin, takes on Wagner for the sixth time this season after six-time champion Wagner beat world No. 3 ranked Brit Andy Lapthorne 62 61 to take a 3-2 lead over Lapthorne in head-to-heads this season. Wagner’s won all five of his previous meetings against Alcott to date, the first three of which all went to a third and final set.
Kunieda and Kamiji maintain Japanese double bid
Three weeks after securing the first Japanese double at a Grand Slam wheelchair tennis event at Roland Garros, Kunieda and Kamiji remain on course in the defence of their Super Series titles in Paris.
World No. 1 Kunieda, unbeaten in Antony since 2010, made quick work of beating world No. 9 Nicolas Peifer of France in the men’s singles semifinals, racing to a 61 61 victory that will see him meet 2007 and 2009 champion Stephane Houdet in the final. World No. 2 Houdet had a tougher challenge against Britain’s world No. 3 Gordon Reid, but maintained the home challenge for a singles title 75 64.
A day after ending her quarterfinal in a remarkable tiebreak, world No. 6 Marjolein Buis had an entirely different experience in the last four as wold No. 1 Kamiji powered to a 61 60 victory. Buis was quick to applaud her opponent, describing Kamiji’s performance as ‘the best women's tennis I've seen in years’.
Defending champion Kamiji now faces another Dutch challenge in the final after world No.2 van Koot also produced a confident performance in beating British fourth seed and world No.5 Jordanne Whiley 62 62. Sunday’s final will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal, which Kamiji won 64 61.
Cortterill and Lapthorne net first Super Series title
There was an upset in the quad doubles final as British second seeds Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne clinched their first Super Series title together.
Cotterill and Lapthorne, who reached their first Super Series final at the SA Open in April, defeated American top seeds and last month’s Japan Open champions Greg Hasterok and Wagner 75 67(5) 63, with Cotterill earning his first Super Series title in either singles or doubles.
Kamiji and Whiley will be on the same side of the net at Wimbledon next week, but the2013 winning partnership and two-time Grand Slam winners this season paired up with different partners in Antony this year, with Kamiji again coming out on top. After dropping just one game to Buis in the singles semifinals, Kamiji helped ensure the Dutchwoman’s tournament ended on a winning note as the top seeds wrapped up a 60 76 victory over second seeds Lucy Shuker and Whiley.
Meanwhile, Houdet and Kunieda will go into the defence of their Wimbledon doubles title in fine form after retaining their BNP Paribas Open de France title with a 62 63 win over the second seeds, Reid and Maikel Scheffers.
BNP Paribas Open de France Latest Draws
Order of Play - Sunday, 29 June 2014