31 Aug 2014

Kunieda, Griffioen, Wagner win in St. Louis

Match Report

Photo: James Jordan / Tennis FoundationJiske Griffioen (NED)

World No. 1 players Shingo Kunieda of Japan and David Wagner of USA won the men’s singles and quad singles titles as the US Open USTA Championships. The final Super Series event on the 2014 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour came to a close on Sunday with Dutch world No. 4 Jiske Griffioen producing the only upset in the seeding in the singles finals to clinch the women’s crown in St. Louis.

As all three singles champions added to the doubles titles they had already shared in on the penultimate day’s competition, fourth seed Griffioen ended her Super Series efforts this season exactly as she had started in Sydney in January, by defeating Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock in the women’s singles decider.

After beating current world No. 1 Yui Kamiji in the semifinals, repeating her win over the Japanese player in the last four in Sydney, Griffioen went on to extende her unbeaten record over Ellerbrock this season to three matches as she claimed the fifth Super Series singles title of her career 61 63.

All three of Griffioen’s wins over Ellerbrock this season have been in Super Series events, including a semifinal victory at the Japan Open, where she was the eventual runner-up to Kamiji. It was also her third title in St. Louis following back-to-back ITF 1 Series titles in the city in 2007 and 2008 before the US Super Series event moved from San Diego to St. Louis in 2009.

Griffioen declared herself ‘happy with the week’ on her Twitter account and will hope that her ‘good preparation for the US Open’ will translate into even more success in New York in the coming week, when she bids to improve on her quarterfinal berth in 2013 at the final Grand Slam of the year.

Kunieda and Wagner seal men’s and quad titles

Kunieda took his tally of US Open Super Series titles to six since 2006 as he retained the men’s singles title with a hard-won 75 63 victory over world No. 2 Stephan Houdet.

The five matches the world’s top two players have now contested so far this season have all been finals, three of them being at Super Series level, with Kunieda’s victory in St. Louis proving the closest of all the five contests against his French rival that he’s won in straight sets since January.

Kunieda will end 2014 having won four of the five Super Series events he’s contested and while his latest win also boosts his claims to what he hopes will be another successful title defence in New York, Houdet also believes the score is a ‘good omen’ heading the last major of the season.

Wagner took his personal tally of US Open Super Series quad singles titles to five after his 63 64 victory over world No. 3 ranked Brit Andy Lapthorne brought him his thid successive crown in St. Louis.

The American has now won three of the six Super Series tournaments in 2014 and he will head to New York aiming to regain the quad singles Grand Slam title won for the first time in 2013 by South Africa’s world No. 2 Lucas Sithole.

US Open USTA Championships Draws on USTA.com