Photo: Mathilde DusolInvacare Doubles Masters quad champions Nick Taylor and David Wagner (USA)
Nick Taylor and David Wagner of USA won their fifth Invacare Doubles Masters quad title on Saturday in a hotly-contested final in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The top seeds immediately went a break down to Italy's Antonio Raffaele Dorrie Timmermans-van Hall of the Netherlands in the first set, but came back to lead 5-3.
Taylor and Wagner served for the opening set at 5-4, but found themselves 0-40 down before Raffaele and Timmermans clinched the second game point in the tenth game to level the final at 5-5. However, Taylor and Wagner dug deep and Raffaele put a backhand in the next to give the American duo two set points.
They only need the first set point to seize the initiative and again came 2-0 down in the second set before closing out the match 75 64.
Both sets of finalists had their trophies presented by Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, while the flowers were presented by Agnes Riquelme, European Communications and Marketing Services Manager, Invacare and Ellen de Lange, Tournament Director, ITF.
After ending the round-robin group phase of the quad event without a win in three matches, the all Italian pairing of Marco Innocenti and Giuseppe Polidori completed their competition on a high when they defeated Bryan Barten of USA and Anders Hard of Sweden 60 63.
Ammerlaan and Houdet defeat defending champions Scheffers and Vink
After starting the penultimate day of the Invacare Doubles Masters with just two losses on their record as a partnership, Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands and Stephane Houdet of France ended the day by avenging their defeats by Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink in the last two Doubles Masters finals.
Top seeds Scheffers and Vink began the first men's semifinal of the day looking to be in the kind of form that might take them to a third successive Doubles Masters title, taking a 3-0 lead and gaining a double break in the last two games of the first set to take it 6-2.
However, it was Ammerlaan and Houdet that established the first break of the second set, only for Scheffers and Vink to win three games in a row to edge back ahead. But a tense set was level after the first ten games and Ammerlaan and Houdet kept their bid for a third successive final on track by taking the last two games to force a decider.
Both partnerships were fairly equally matched for much of the final set, but Scheffers and Vink missed the chance to take a 5-3 lead and Ammerlaan an Houdet capitalised to seal the last three games of the semifinal and wrapped a hard won 26 75 64 victory.
Having lost out in the final to Scheffers and Vink for the past two years, Ammerlaan and Houdet will aim to finally clinch the title in their third final in three years, but are likely to face a tough challenge from Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Michael Jeremiasz of France.
Egberink and Jeremiasz have swept all before them this week and stretched their unbeaten run as doubles partners to seven matches over the past two weeks in the other men's semifinal.
With the all-French duo of Frederic Cattaneo and Nicolas Peifer playing in their second Doubles Masters semifinal in three year, they struggled to stay with Egberink and Jeremiasz, who eased into the final 63 60.
Cattaneo and Peifer now face a tough task if they are to equal their third place of 2009, with with their pay-off against Scheffers and Vink set to start Sunday's last day of play at the Frans Otten Stadium.
The men's final is scheduled to start at 13.00 local Amsterdam time, with the women's final following on afterwards.
Frederic Cazeaudumec of France and Austria's Martin Legner secured seventh place in the men's event after a comfortable 63 60 win over David Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi of France.
Meanwhile, 2008 Doubles Masters champions Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom claimed fifth place this year in a tough contest against British duo Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid, the Swedish silver medallists from the Beijing Paralympics eventually prevailing 76(3) 64.