18 Mar 2018

Barten stuns Wagner to lift Georgia Open quad title


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Photo: Takeo TanumaBryan Barten (USA)

Bryan Barten stunned world No. 1 David Wagner on Saturday’s penultimate day of the inaugural Georgia Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, to lift the quad singles title at the ITF 1 Series event in Rome, USA.

With 27 straight losses to Wagner going back to 2002, Barten had only taken Wagner to a tiebreak on one occasion and had never taken a set off the 2017 ITF World Champion previously in competition.

However, world No. 8 Barten turned all previous form on its head to triumph 64 62 for his second title of 2018 after winning the Arizona Open and his first ITF 1 Series title since winning the 2016 Birmingham Canadian Classic.

Later in the day the two singles finalists joined forces to win the quad doubles title, the top seeds beating Ymanitu Silva of Brazil and Lucas Sithole of South Africa 62 75.

Fernandez to meet Houdet in men’s singles final

World No. 4 Stephane Houdet will play top seed and world No. 2 Gustavo Fernandez for the men’s singles title after beating Belgium’s world No. 9 Joachim Gerard 62 36 63 in Saturday’s semifinals.

Fernandez’s first match against world No. 5 Gordon Reid since losing to the Brit 7-5 in the third set of their round-robin pool match at December’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters produced another thrilling contest. However, on this occasion it was the Argentinian who was on the right end of a 7-5 third set as he edged past Reid 76(6) 16 75.

Houdet will bid to leave the Georgia Open with both the men’s singles and men’s doubles titles after partnering fellow Frenchman Nicolas Peifer to reach the doubles final on Saturday. The top seeds secured a 61 62 semifinal victory over the fourth seeds, Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi and Daniel Rodrigues of Brazil.

Houdet and Peifer join second seeds Gerard and Maikel Scheffers in the final, with Gerard and Scheffers having already booked their place in the title decider after beating Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Takashi Sanada 57 76(7) (10-8) after a match tiebreak in another enthralling contest in Rome.

De Groot and van Koot to meet in all-Dutch women’s final

While all-Dutch women’s singles finals have become a familiar occurrence on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour for many a year, world No. 2 Diede de Groot and world No. 3 Aniek van Koot will meet in a final for the just the second time in Rome.

De Groot’s won five of six semifinals against van Koot over the last 12 months and the Australian Open champion booked her place in another final with a 61 62 win over her British doubles partner Lucy Shuker.

Van Koot faced a tougher task against countrywoman Marjolein Buis in the other semifinal, but held on to defeat the third seed 75 64.

All four singles semifinalists will meet in the women’s doubles final. Top seeds Buis and van Koot earned a 61 63 semifinal win over the unseeded Japanese pairing of Shiori Funamizu and Manami Tanaka. Meanwhile, second seeds de Groot and Shuker beat fourth seeds Natalia Mayara and Kgothatso Montjane 61 64 to reach the final.



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