Brit Andy Lapthorne booked a place in his first British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships quad singles final today after defeating American world No. 1 David Wagner 62 62 at Nottingham Tennis Centre on the fourth day of this week’s Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Lapthorne is joined in Saturday’s quad singles final by Australia’s Dylan Alcott, while Yui Kamiji of Japan and Aniek van Koot of Netherlands, the world’s top two ranked players, moved into Saturday’s women’s singles final.
World No. 3 Lapthorne earned an early break against Wagner before rain forced the players off court and on the resumption Wagner levelled the set at 2-2. However, Lapthorne reeled off the next four games to clinch the opening set before taking a commanding 4-1 lead in the second set en route to sealing his sixth career win over Wagner and his third against the top seed this season.
“I’ve been training so hard these last few months and it’s just about going onto the court and believing in yourself and believing in what you’ve been doing on the training court,” said 23-year-old Lapthorne. “I’m absolutely ecstatic to beat the world No. 1 in my home Super Series.”
World No. 4 Alcott ended the title defence of South Africa’s Lucas Sithole. The Australian held a slender 2-1 first-set advantage before rain halted play, and Alcott dominated when the action resumed to complete a 63 60 victory and reach his second successive Super Series final after finishing runner-up to Wagner in last month’s French Open. Alcott and Lapthorne have met just twice before, each player winning one three-set contest apiece.
“I’ve been getting to the big matches this year and then haven’t been able to finish it off, so to beat Lucas for the second time now after winning the French Open semifinal is great,” said Alcott.
The reigning champion also went out in the semifinals of the women’s singles as world No. 2 van Koot edged world No. 3 Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany 75 64 to reverse the result of last year’s final.
“Sabine’s a very good player and always a very tough opponent, so after last year (when van Koot won the first set of the women’s singles final) I’m really happy that I could finish it today,” said van Koot.
With both women’s singles semifinals level at 2-2 when Saturday’s rain suspended plays, world No. 1 Kamiji went on to win a roller coaster of a match against world No. 4 Jiske Griffioen, eventually pulling through for a 75 16 61 victory.
After Lapthorne’s victory there was more success for British players as London 2012 bronze medallists Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley reached Sunday’s women’s doubles final. Whiley will bid to add the British Open title to her Wimbledon doubles crown after she teamed up with Shuker to beat Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane 76(2) 61.
The second seeds will play top seeds Kamiji and van Koot, who came from behind in the second set of their semifinal against Ellerbrock and Griffioen to prevail 76(3) 75.
The fourth seeds are into Saturday’s men’s doubles final after Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Nicolas Peifer of France beat French second seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Stephane Houdet 76(5) 75. Fernandez and Peifer will meet top seeds Joachim Gerard and Maikel Scheffers for the title after the Belgian-Dutch partnership overcame Japanese third seeds Shingo Kunieda and Takashi Sanada 61, 75.
Saturday’s penultimate day of play includes the men’s singles semifinals between the world’s top four ranked players, with Great Britain’s Gordon Reid playing world No. 2 Houdet and world No. 1 Kunieda facing world No. 4 Fernandez.
Order of Play - Saturday, 19 July 2014