23 Sep 2017

Houdet, Kruger, Wagner seal Sardinia titles

News Article

Photo: Angelo MeloniKatharina Kruger (GER)

Stephane Houdet, Katharina Kruger and David Wagner claimed the men’s, women’s and quad singles titles on Saturday’s last day of the 18th Sardinia Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Alghero.

Houdet and Kruger also completed the ITF 1 Series event for the Tavoni Trophy with the men’s and women’s doubles titles, while the quad doubles final was the only title decider not to go to the top seeds.

Four and a half months on from steering France to the men’s title in a deciding doubles rubber at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, Houdet and Nicolas Peifer were on opposites sides of the net, on the same centre court, at Tennis Club Alghero for the men’s singles final.

With Peifer having beaten Houdet in two previous Sardinia Open finals, the world No. 5 suggested he might do the same when taking a 3-1 first set lead. However, world No. 2 and defending champion Houdet put together five games in a row to take the opening set and then dropped just the third game of the second set for a 3-1 victory.

Houdet’s fifth Sardinia Open men’s singles title was also his third in succession, coming 10 years on from his first tournament victory in Alghero. It was also his third straight title on the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour after winning the US Open USTA Championships Super Series and US Open Grand Slam singles titles.

Houdet and Peifer began the last day of competition by retaining their men’s doubles title, beating second seeds Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson 62 63

Kruger claims first Sardinia Open women’s singles title

Eight years on from finishing runner-up to Dutchwoman Sharon Walraven in her first Sardinia Open women’s singles final, Kruger’s second title deciding match in Alghero brought the German world No. 9 the second ITF 1 Series singles title of her career.

With Frenchwoman and second seed Charlotte Famin contesting her first Sardinia Open final and seeking her first ITF 1 title, the world No. 11 took a commanding 5-0 lead before withstanding a revival from Kruger to take the opening set.  

Kruger revived her fortunes to open up a 3-0 second set lead en route to forcing the decider and established another three game cushion for 5-2 in the final set. Famin missed several opportunities to make it 5-3 and extend her challenge, but ultimately Kruger held firm to complete a 36 62 62 victory.

Five years on from losing their first ever match as a doubles partnership at the 2012 German Open, Kruger and Viktoriia Lvova of Russia enjoyed an altogether different result in their second tournament together. The top seeds recovered well from being edged out in the first set of the women’s doubles final against Famin and Marianna Lauro of Italy, eventually snatching the match tiebreak for a 57 61 (10-8) victory.

Wagner seals first Sardinia Open quad title

Amongst David Wagner’s extensive list of quad singles titles on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the Sardinia Open was missing until this year, but USA’s world No. 1  put that right with a comprehensive victory in the 2017 final.

With Wagner facing first-time ITF 1 Series finalist Maximillian Laudan of Germany, 25-year-old world No. 21 Laudan’s winning sequence this week, which included victories over world No. 3 Lucas Sithole and former world No. 1 Sraga Weinberg, came to an end as Wagner sealed his eight title of 2017 60 62.

Top seed Wagner completed his fourth ITF 1 tournament victory of the season having dropped a total of just seven games in three matches, with each match in Alghero including a set that Wagner won to love.

Wagner’s only other previous match against Laudan, at the 2016 German Open, also saw the American drop just two games to his German opponent.

With five of the six main draw finals on the last day of play going to the top seeds, the quad doubles final ended in a victory for Israeli second seeds Itay Erenlib and Weinberg, both previous winners of the quad singles title. Erenlib and Weinberg beat top seeds Antony Cotterill and Lucas Sithole 60 63 to claim their second career doubles title together.