27 Nov 2017

Taylor and Wagner earn tenth Doubles Masters title


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Photo: Mathilde DusolNick Taylor and David Wagner (USA)

USA's Nick Taylor and David Wagner extended their record as the most successful partnership in UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters history when they wrapped up their 10th quad title on Saturday in Bemmel, Netherlands.

As the ITF's year-end doubles championship on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour drew to a close on Sunday, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett became the first all-British parntership to win the men's title, while Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot became the latest all-Dutch partnership to add their names to the women's doubles roll of honour.

Taylor and Wagner had lost out in an engrossing three-set round-robin contest on Thursday against British top seeds Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne before last year’s finalists once again finished in the top two positions after the pool matches to ensure their return to the final.

However come the final and Taylor and Wagner were the more consistent partnership, sealing a 64 63 victory after an hour and 26 minutes.

“It’s awesome. We missed out on it last year against these guys and we really wanted to beat them this year and get that tenth title, so it’s huge” said Taylor.

“I personally think that the more positive energy that the two of us have the better off we are. I know the more pumped up I get, generally the better I play. Sometime it goes a little too far and I start missing everything but as long as I can keep it reined in then we’re OK and it was really, really important today.

“We just had a game plan that we stuck with and we know it can work if we stick with it. And that’s what we wanted to do, stick with the game plan," said Wagner.

"We prepared hard for that and we’re ready to give it our best every time and we showcased that today. We’re super-excited to get our tenth title after 13 finals in a row, so you couldn’t ask for a whole lot more.”

Third place in the quad doubes went to Austalia's Heath Davidson and Lucas Sithoe of South Africa, who won their play-off against Greg Hasterok and Kyu-Seung Kim 36 62 61.

Hewett and Reid claim thrilling men's final from a set down

The ninth contest of 2017 between Brits Hewett and Gordon Reid and French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Gordon Reid produced arguably the most memorable match of the year between the world’s top four ranked doubles players.

The men’s double final looked like it may pass very quickly as Houdet served out to love to make it 5-1 in the opening set and the world No. 2 ranked singles player then hit a cross court forehand winner as he and Peifer closed out the set for the loss of just the one game.

Hoewever, from a set and 2-0 down Hewett and Reid turned their fortunes around to eventualluy wrap up a 16 64 75 victory.

“It was another tough one. We never do it the easy way against the French guys it seems, but it was great to pull through in the end and win our first Doubles Masters title together,” said Reid, who had previously won the Doubles Masters twice before, with two different French partners – Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz.

“I think we were sitting too deep in the first set so we just tried to be more aggressive with our movement after that and it was a great comeback and it’s great to win my third Doubles Masters title, this time with Alfie.”  

“I think we just remained positive, we knew what we had to do to change the match and it just took us a while to find our rhythm and find ourselves within the match, but after we got a few games on the board we did well it felt good,” said Hewett, for whom it was a first Doubles Masters title.

Recent Bath Indoor champions Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson took third place in the men’s doubles, defeating Gustavo Fernandez and Maikel Scheffers 61 75.

Buis, de Groot become latest all-Dutch women's champions

Three days after beating Sabine Ellerbrock and Aniek van Koot 61 64 in the round-robin phase of the women’s double competition Rio Paralympic silver medallists Buis and de Groot faced a similar challenge against the same opposition in the final.

With Ellerbrock and van Koot just four matches in to their newly-formed partnership, which inclcluded victory over second seeds Dana Mathewson and Lucyy Shuker in the semifinals, Buis and de Groot’s experience from almost 40 matches together soon came to the fore.

Ellerbrock and van Koot earned their first service break at the start of the second set, but were prevented from building any significant momentum and Buis and de Groot took the final three games to close out a 62 64 victory.

“This means a lot to me. It’s been a great year playing doubles and to finish it like this winning the Doubles Masters together with Diede for the first time is very, very nice,” said Buis. “In the end I think that we kept on fighting for every point; that made the difference. We still believed we could win the second set even though we were down and just to go for it over and over again, every point, well it turned out that that was the key factor, I guess.”

While it was a first UNIQLO Doubles Masters title for Buis it was a second successive victory in the event for de Groot, who partnered Shuker to victory in 2016.

“It’s still special, here playing in your home country it’s maybe even more special than the first time, but yes it’s very special,” said de Groot. “We can invite family and coaches and everyone who wants to come, so I think it (the crowd support) is very important.”

After last year’s victory with de Groot, Shuker finished third this year, partnering USA's Mathewson. Mathewson and Shuker beat Charlotte Famin and Kgothatso Montjane 61 57 61 in the third place play-off.



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