Photo: Takeo TanumaGordon Reid (GBR)
Gordon Reid and Stephane Houdet won Saturday’s men’s doubles final at the Open de la Baie de Somme before they go head-to-head in Sunday’s men’s singles final at the ITF 1 Series event in Rue, France, while Sabine Ellerbrock will go into the women’s singles final against Jiske Griffioen after an all-German victory in the women’s doubles.
For the second day in a row Reid produced an upset in the men’s singles and this time it saw him secure his second career win over world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda.
Kunieda edged the first set of their semifinal, but after opening up a 5-2 second set lead world No. 6 Reid eventually snatched a tiebreak to level the match. Reid went on to secure the first five games of the third and final set and, having called the physio at 3-0 for a shoulder injury, Kunieda eventually retired with the score at 46 76(4) 5-0. Reid’s win followed up his three set win over Kunieda in the semifinals of the SA Open in April.
World No. 2 Houdet won four of the last five games in the first set of his semifinal against world No. 5 Joachim Gerard, but the Belgian built on a 3-0 second set lead to level the match. However, Houdet gained the important breakthrough midway through the final set to lead 4-2 en route to completing a 63 36 63 victory.
Houdet and Reid were involved in another exciting climax to the men’s doubles final. The top seeds had set points at 5-4 up in a tight opening set, but were taken to a first set tiebreak by Gerard and Kunieda. At 5-5 in the tiebreak both partnerships had won 41 points apiece, but Gerard and Kunieda crucially claimed the last two points to gain the set.
Houdet and Reid secured an early break in the second set to lead 3-1 and maintained their cushion en route to taking the second set.
With the match being decided in a championship tiebreak Houdet and Reid saw an early 2-0 lead slip away as Gerard and Kunieda opened up a 7-4 lead. However, Houdet and Reid would not be denied and they saved a match point at 9-8 down before clinching their own first match point for a 67(5) 63 (11-9) victory that extends their unbeaten record as a doubles partnership to three tournaments.
Ellerbrock and Griffioen reach women’s singles final
World No. 2 Ellerbrock came from a set down to reach Sunday’s women’s singles final.
Dutch world No. 5 Marjolein Buis secured an early break as she set about trying to secure her first win over Ellerbrock since 2010 and went on to take the opening set. However, for the third time since the London 2012 Paralympics Buis saw a one set lead slip away against the German top seed and Ellebrock eventually prevailed 46 63 63.
World No. 3 and reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Griffioen had a much easier time in her semifinal as she secured a 60 61 win for the second time in three days.
After defeating Britain’s Louise Hunt in the quarterfinals second seed Griffioen wasted little time against her fellow Dutchwoman and world No. 9 Sharon Walraven as she set up her fifth match of the year and her third final of 2013 against Ellerbrock. Griffioen and Ellerbrock have won two matches apiece in their previous four contests this season.
After seeing their respective singles challenges end in the semifinals, Buis and Walraven also slipped to defeat in a fascinating women’s doubles final as Ellerbrock and Katharina Kruger justified their top seeding.
Having had a bye through the final the final Ellerbrock and Kruger secured the important points to take a 5-3 lead before serving out the first set two games later.
There was a significant change in momentum in the second set as Buis and Walraven reeled off six games in succession to force a deciding championship tiebreak. But, having regained the initiative to lead the tiebreak 7-3, Ellerbrock and Kruger finally wrapped up 64 06 (10-7) victory in only their first NEC Tour women’s doubles event as partners since reaching the quarterfinals at the London 2012 Paralympics.
De la Puente and Graauw reach junior singles final
Martin de la Puente of Spain and Dutchman Mitchel Graauw will meet in Sunday’s junior singles final after de la Puente prevailed when they met in their final round-robin group match on Saturday.
De la Puente beat his Dutch opponent 61 62 in their first head-to-head of the week on what was a mixed day of Graauw. Graauw began the penultimate day’s play in Rue with a 60 61 win over Rafail Patronidis of Greece.
Unbeaten in four matches so far this week, de la Puente will now bid to win the junior title in Rue for the second successive year when he and Graauw meet in the first of Sunday’s three finals, before Ellerbrock faces Griffioen and Houdet takes on Reid to bring the penultimate ITF 1 Series tournament of 2013 to an end.