31 Jul 2006

Ammerlaan and Norfolk lift British Open titles


NEWS ARTICLE

Robin Ammerlaan (NED) and Peter Norfolk (GBR) won the Men's and Quad Main Draw Singles titles during Sunday's final day of the British Open in Nottingham, the third Super Series event of the 2006 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

World No 3 Ammerlaan, the 2003 British Open champion, fought out a closely-contested first set against World No 4 Satoshi Saida (JPN) in the Men’s Main Draw Singles final, with the set coming down to a tie-break. The two players continued to trade points in the tie-break before Ammerlaan opened up a 53 lead. However, Saida clawed his way back to clinch the set without Ammerlaan scoring another point.

The second set again began with both players trading games until breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the set saw Ammerlaan level the score on the first of two set points.

After winning the last four games of the second set Ammerlaan again started the deciding set in sparkling form, moving 50 ahead before Saida finally managed to hold serve to win his first game in ten games. However, the Dutch third seed soon quashed any hopes of a Saida comeback as he converted his second match point to seal a 67(5) 63 61 victory and clinch his second British Open and his fourth career Super Series title.

“I’ve got to hand to Satoshi, he played a splendid match for the first set and a half, but then I stepped up my game and it all came together,” said Ammerlaan afterwards. “At the beginning of the final set I only thought about winning the first two games so that I had a break cushion, but once I had done that Satoshi’s head went down and I was able go on and dominate most of the set and I’m delighted to win my fourth Super Series title.”

In the Quad Singles final Norfolk set out in search of the 10th Super Series title of his career, with the Briton and his unseeded opponent Shraga Weinberg (ISR) both starting solidly in the first few games. Both players exchanged breaks in the sixth and seventh games of the set, but when Norfolk broke for a second time in the eighth game he finally consolidated the break on his fourth set point to seize the advantage.

Both players exchanged breaks at the start of the second set before Norfolk’s stepped up the pace to develop a 41 lead. He then maintained the advantage before consolidating another service break on the second of three match points to wrap up a 63 62 triumph. Norfolk’s win not only takes his tally of Super Series titles in to double figures but was also his third British Open crown in four years.

“It’s been a tough week and tough draw. It’s always hard to win your home tournament and there has been some very pressured and very high quality tennis,” said Norfolk. “I congratulate Shraga on playing well in the final and was very pleased with my own my backhand slice and my ability to convert the big points. I’m delighted to retain my title and consolidate my position as World No 1.”

Also in Sunday’s finals Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Esther Vergeer, Saturday’s Women’s Singles finalists, maintained their two-year unbeaten record as a partnership as they beat third seeds Maaike Smit (NED) and Mie Yaosa (JPN) 63 62 in the Women’s Doubles final.

Meanwhile, Paralympic champions and top seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner (USA) defeated the unseeded Dutch pairing of Dorrie Timmermans and Bas Van Erp in 63 64 in the Quad Doubles final.

The Men's Second Draw Singles and Junior Singles final were fought out by the same two British players. In the even it was 14-year-old Gordon Reid who had the upper hand in both finals, defeating local Nottinghamshire player David Phillipson 63 63 in the Second Draw Singles final and then recording a 54(7) 42 victory in the Junior final, which was played in a short sets format.

British Open Final Results.



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