Photo: Alfie Hewett (GBR)
World No. 1 ranked junior Alfie Hewett won his third men’s singles title on the 2013 Wheelchair Tennis Tour this week at the Arcotel-Rezidencija 55 Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, as Germany’s Bianca Osterer clinched her second women’s singles title of the year.
Second seed Hewett beat Guido Nespethal of Germany 6-1, 6-1 and Giorgos Lazaridis of Greece 6-1, 6-3 to book his place in the men’s singles semifinals and then had to battle hard before finally seeing off Chile’s Robinson Mendez 36 75 64.
Former world No. 11 Mendez, who has more recently seen his ranking drop outside the world’s top 50, had provided the most notable results in the earlier rounds, including a 75 61 win over German fourth seed Steffen Sommerfeld.
British top seed David Phillipson and third seed David Dalmasso of France both dropped a set apiece in their respective quarterfinals before going head-to-head in a thrilling semifinal that resulted in three tiebreaks. Dalmasso eventually prevailed 67(4) 76(2) 76(4) and he went on to take the opening set of the final. However, after levelling the match Hewett led the first game of the deciding set 40-0 when Dalmasso had to retire.
Top seeds Hewett and Phillipson reached the men’s doubles semifinals without dropping a game and went on to beat third seeds Mendez of Chile and Sommerfeld 62 62 to book their place in the final. The British duo then extended their unbeaten record together to six matches in two tournaments this season when they beat second seeds Dalmasso and Yoann Quilliou 62 64 to lift their second title of the year.
Osterer claims women’s title
After winning her first ITF 2 Series title last month at the Slovakia Open Osterer found success on the clay again in Zagreb.
While the German top seed and second seed Francisca Mardones of Chile both had first round byes, the pick of the opening matches ended in a three set win for Turkey’s Julide Yildiz as she edged out Souad Yamani of France 46 62 75.
Yildiz’s campaign ended 62 62 against Mardones in the quarterfinals as fourth seed Pauline Helouin, one of two Frenchwomen to reach the last four, outlasted Australia’s Janet Manns 57 62 64. But it was third seed Charlotte Famin that went the further of the French players after defeating Mardones 63 63.
Famin went on to get agonisingly close to her first NEC Tour titles outside of France, but Osterer battled back from a set down to earn a tense 46 62 76(8) victory.
Osterer completed the tournament with both the women’s singles and doubles titles after partnering Mardones to win the doubles. The top seeds dropped just three games en route to their triumph, defeating second seeds Helouin and Busra Un of Turkey 61 61 in the final.