25 Mar 2018

Alcott lifts Cajun Classic quad title

News Article

Photo: Ellen HeathDylan Alcott (AUS)

Dylan Alcott made it two out of two Super Series titles this season when he produced a polished performance on Saturday to beat world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne in the quad singles final at the Cajun Classic, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

While Alcott later partnered fellow Australian Heath Davidson to win the quad doubles title, Zhenzhen Zhu continued to impress as the Chinese world No.28 reached her first Super Series women’s singles final. She will now play Dutch top seed Diede de Groot.

Sunday’s men’s singles final will be a rematch of the first Super Series final of the year in Sydney, in which Shingo Kunieda beat Alfie Hewett. The two players meet again on Sunday in Baton Rouge.

Alcott beats Lapthorne to lift quad singles title

The first ever Super Series singles title to be won at the Cajun Classic went to Australian world No. 3 Alcott, who dominated the quad final from the outset to beat world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne 60 62.

With just one loss on his record to date this season, when he was beaten by current world No. 1 David Wagner in the round-robin phase of the Australian Open, Alcott took his tally of match wins for 2018 into double figures as he claimed the 13th Super Series singles title of his career.

Alcott was again on the right end of the result when he partnered Davidson to victory in the Australian-British quad doubles final later in the day. Having beaten top seeds Bryan Barten and Wagner in the semifinals, Alcott and Davidson ended Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne’s hopes of defending the quad doubles title, winning 46 61 63 to again clinch their second Super Series title of 2018.

Also the reigning Australian Open champion, Alcott and Davidson remain unbeaten as a partnership this year.

De Groot faces Zhu challenge in women’s singles final

World No. 2 de Groot’s hopes of ending the Cajun Classic as women’s singles world No. 1 for the first time in her career depend on whether the Dutch 21-year-old can turn around 0-3 head-to-head record against Zhu.

Most famously and most recently Zhu won their singles rubber in the women’s final at the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup to give China, P.R. a shock victory over Netherlands.

Twenty eight-year-old Zhu had already secured a career best Super Series performance by reaching the semifinals in Baton Rouge, but she continued to sweep all before her with a 62 61 victory over world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock. Zhu’s second career win in two matches against Ellerbrock brought her third win of the week against a Top 10 player and the former world No.11 will now aim to maintain her unbeaten record against de Groot.

De Groot has the opportunity to edge ahead of Yui Kamiji at the top of the world rankings with victory in Baton Rouge and the top seed also dominated her semifinal to beat fellow Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis 63 61.

De Groot and Lucy Shuker will attempt to complete back-to-back doubles titles in USA. Last week’s Georgia Open champions and Cajun Classic second seeds won their semifinal against Ellerbrock and Charlotte Famin of France 63 62.

They will face top seeds Buis and Aniek van Koot in the final after the Dutch duo edged Germany’s Katharina Kruger and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane 57 62 75, with Buis admitting on Twitter that they will ‘ need to upgrade our game tomorrow’ for the final.

Hewett set for Kunieda test in men’s final

Alfie Hewett won the second ITF 1 Series title of his career at the 2017 Cajun Classic and the 20-year-old Brit has consolidated his world No.1 ranking by beating fourth seed Stephane Houdet 63 64 to reach the final of this year’s Super Series event. In the process Hewett ended Houdet’s hopes of back-to-back titles after the Frenchman won last week’s Georgia Open.

Hewett will now attempt to beat world No. 4 Shingo Kunieda for the first time in three matches after Kunieda denied world No. 5 Gordon Reid 62 62. Kunieda won both his round-robin pool match at the 2017 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in December and then January’s Sydney International Super Series final against Hewett, which ended 64 64.

Like Alcott and de Groot, Kunieda will attempt to win both singles and doubles titles on Sunday’s last day of play in Baton Rouge after partnering Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina to seal a memorable semifinal victory against second seeds Hewett and Reid. Hewett and Reid held match points in the second set, but Fernandez and Kunieda came back to take the tiebreak before completing a thrilling 26 76(4) 64 victory.

The fourth seeds take on top seeds Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in the final after the French duo also met with a determined challenge from third seeds Joachim Gerard and Maikel Scheffers. Houdet and Peifer had to come from a set down to take their semifinal 26 63 64.