Photo: Steve WylieNick Taylor (USA) and David Wagner (USA)
The top seeds won the men’s, women’s and quad doubles titles on the penultimate day of the US Open USTA Championships, part of the UNIIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Stephane Houdet, Shingo Kunieda, Jiske Griffioen and David Wagner are now all set to try and end the tournament with singles and doubles titles when the last Super Series event of the year comes to a close in St. Louis in Sunday.
Houdet and Kunieda started the fifth day of play by winning their semifinal against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, the third seeds, 75 62.
With the all-French partnership of Michael Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer having already completed their semifinal on Saturday, the extra hours of rest the fourth seeds enjoyed made little difference as Houdet and Kunieda claimed their second Super Series doubles title of 2014 together and their second successive victory in St. Louis 62 63.
Houdet and Kunieda’s first tournament together was the Super Series in the Unites States, then held in Sand Diego, in 2006. They were runners-up before reuniting in St. Louis in 2013 to take the title for the first time. Japan’s world No. 1 Kunieda and world No. 2 ranked Frenchman Houdet will now be on opposite sides of the net in the men’s singles final.
Dutch duo Griffioen and Aniek van Koot beat defending champions Kgohatso Montjane of South Africa and Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain 76(2) 62 to avenge their loss in the 2013 final. It was an eighth Super Series doubles title in the United States for Griffioen and her second with van Koot since 2011.
It was also van Koot and Griffioen’s second Super Series title together this season after their victory at the Japan Open in May and it leaves them in good heart ahead of attempting to defend their US Open Grand Slam title in New York next week.
American top seeds Nick Taylor and Wagner will also head to New York in fine form as they eye another title defence at the final Grand Slam of the year.
Taylor and Wagner beat second seeds Lapthorne and Sithole 75 67(3) 62 in a repeat of their 2013 semifinal in St. Louis after this year’s final went into a rain break in the first set with both partnerships locked at 5-5. But the three-time Paralympic gold medallists came out stronger when the match resumed and they dominated the final set to claim the title in St. Louis for the fifth time in the last six years.
As well as Houdet and Kunieda's clash in the men's singles final, Griffioen will now play Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock in the women's singles final on Sunday, when Wagner also faces Brit Lapthorne in the quad singles final.
US Open USTA Championships Draws on USTA.com