27 Feb 2018

Gerard, van Koot, Lapthorne win at Bolton Indooor

News Article

Photo: Tennis FoundationAndy Lapthorne (GBR)

Joachim Gerard, Aniek van Koot and Andy Lapthorne secured a sweep of victories for the top seeds in the men’s, women’s and quad singles over the weekend at Bolton Indoor, Europe’s first ITF 2 Series event on the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Gerard has moved 100 points closer to regaining a place in the world’s Top 8 after becoming just the third player to win the men’s singles title in the five-year history of Bolton Indoor. The world No. 9 secured a second title for a Belgian player in Britain in successive weeks the day after beating 16-year-old Jef Vandorpe 64 63 in the semi-finals.

Gerard’s win over Vandorpe saw Vandorpe experience his first singles loss of 2018 after this year’s Junior Masters champion built a sequence of 12 successive match wins with his victory at the ITF 3 Preston Indoor ahead of reaching the last four in Bolton.

Gaetan Menguy’s first meeting with world No. 10 Maikel Scheffers in 18 month brought the Frenchman his first career win over the Dutch former world No. 1. However, Menguy’s challenge came to an end in his semifinal against third seed Evans Maripa, which the South African edged 76(4), 75.

Without a win in eight previous meetings with Gerard, Maripa threatened to take the top seed to a third and deciding set for just the second time after taking a 4-1 second set lead in the final, but Gerard recovered to wrap up a 63 75 victory and his first men’s singles title since winning the 2016 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.

Gerard very nearly added the men’s doubles title, too, as he and Vandorpe had three match points against Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren, but the Dutch top seeds eventually prevailed in the deciding match tiebreak to win 46 76(5) (11-9).

Van Koot claims all-Dutch women’s singles final

While Gerard’s was a new name on the roll of honour, Aniek van Koot became the second player to win the women’s singles twice at Bolton Indoor.

Winner of the inaugural title in 2014, world No. 3 van Koot led all eight seeds into the quarterfinals, but only van Koot and defending champion Marjolein Buis, out of the top four seeds, would advance to the semifinals as USA sixth seed Dana Mathewson maintained her bid for back-to-back singles titles and Italy’s eighth seed Giulia Capocci booked her place In the last four the second year in a row in Bolton.

Preston Indoor champion Mathewson went on to take Buis to a deciding set for just the second time before second seed Buis reached her third Bolton Indoor final 62 36 62. It was a more comfortable passage to the final for Buis than 12 months ago, when she was taken to a final set tiebreak by Capocci.

This time Capocci extended van Koot to a deciding set as the two players met for the first time on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, but the Italian’s bid to reach the final was once again thwarted as van Koot held on to snatch a 46 75 64 win

By comparison the final proved less troublesome for van Koot as she faced Buis for the 26th time, earning her 21st career win over her countrywoman 63 62.

While Gerard missed out on adding the men’s doubles title to his singles title, van Koot left Bolton with both winners’ trophies after partnering Michaela Spaanstra to beat top seeds Buis and Katharina Kruger in the semifinals and then defeat second seeds Charlotte Famin and Mathewson 75 63 in the final.

Lapthorne regains quad singles title after doubles semi loss

With Gerard winning his first singles title since injury and subsequent shoulder surgery last year, Andy Lapthorne’s continued recovery from recent injury enabled the world No. 2 to regain the Bolton Indoor quad singles title.

A wrist injury ruled Lapthorne out of his planned warm-up events for the Australian Open and he withdrew from his third and last round-robin singles match at the first Grand Slam of the year.

However, one month on and Lapthorne secured a straight sets wins over fellow Brit Richard Green before beating Sweden’s Anders Hard, the player who beat Lapthorne in the 2015 Bolton Indoor final, 61 63.

Lapthorne’s bid to win the title for the second time in three years met with a major challenge as Japanese fourth seed Koji Sugeno stretched the Briton to three sets in the semifinals. However, the top seed came through 62 46 63 to book his place in the final against Canada’s Robert Shaw.

With Shaw having won Preston Indoor, he began his Bolton Indoor challenge unseeded, but a 62 67(4) 75 win over 2016 and 2017 finalist Shraga Weinberg, followed by a 63 62 win over second seed Antony Cotterill suggested that the Canadian could make it back-to-back titles on British soil. However, third seed Bryan Barten had other ideas, beating Shaw 75 46 63 in the last four.

Come the final, Lapthorne secured the first break en route to the opening set and he reeled off the last three games of the match for a 64 63 victory.

Barten’s transatlantic journey from USA to play just the one tournament in Britain not only saw him reach the singles final, but also lift the quad doubles title.

But that was not before an upset in the semifinals as the North American partnership of Greg Hasterok and Shaw beat the top seeds and UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters finalists Cotterill and Lapthorne. Preston Indoor champions Hasterok and Shaw came from 4-1 down to snatch the opening set on a tiebreak and closed out a 76(4) 63 victory.

However, a second straight title for Hasterok and Shaw proved elusive and second seeds Barten and Sugeno, themselves playing together for the first time, ended Hasterok and Shaw’s unbeaten record as a partnership 62 60.