16 Sep 2007

Houdet ends Kunieda's reign in Atlanta

News Article

Stephane Houdet (FRA) ended the Men's Singles title defence of World No 1 Shingo Kunieda (JPN) on Saturday at the Altanta Masters Series, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Georgia.

World No 3 Houdet stayed one clear service break ahead of Kunieda in both sets of their semi-final to secure a 64 64 victory and reach his first final at one of the richest tournaments on the NEC Tour.

In the other semi-final Robin Ammerlaan (NED) reached his third Atlanta Masters Series final in four years after coming from a set down to beat compatriot Maikel Scheffers (NED) 46 62 62. World No 2 Ammerlaan will now bid to win the prestigious Masters Series event for the first time.

In the Women's Singles World No 1 Esther Vergeer (NED) eased in to her third successive Atlanta Master final with a comprehensive 60 60 win over Mie Yaosa (JPN).

In a repeat of last year's final Vergeer will now play compatriot Korie Homan (NED), who beat 2005 finalist Jiske Griffioen (NED) 61 64 in the other semi-final.

The Quad Singles will also decided in repeat contest between last year's winner and runner-up, as defending champion David Wagner (USA) takes on Peter Norfolk (GBR).

World No 1 Wagner won his second round robin match against fellow American Taylor 64 61 on Saturday, while Norfolk overcame Sarah Hunter (CAN) 64 61. Wagner and Norfolk have fought out two of the last three Quad Singles deciders in Atlana, with Wagner prevailing on both occasions, having got the better of two tie-breaks in 2004 and then coming from behdind to win in three sets last year.

Another epic encouter is anticipated, with current World No 2 Norfolk having ended Wagner's unbeaten run in 2007 at last week's US Open Masters Series at Flushing Meadows, where the Briton returned after four months out injured to beat Wagner twice in three days.

There was an upset in the Men's Doubles semi-finals as French duo Houdet and Frederic Cattaneo won the big points to second seeds Ammerlaan and Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) 64 75. Houdet and Cattaneo will face top seeds and reigning Paralympic champions Kunieda and Satoshi Saida (JPN) in Sunday's final after the Japanese pairing defeated reigning Doubles Masters champions Scheffers and Ronald Vink (NED) 64 61 in the other semi-final.

Dutch second seeds Homan and Maaike Smit (NED) came back from the verge defeat to overcome Young-Suk Hong (KOR) and Yaosa 57 76 61 in their Women's Doubles round robin match on Saturday and now face a title decider on Sunday against defending champions Vergeer and Griffioen.

Meanwhile, for the second successive week defending champions Wagner and Taylor had to come from a set down on Saturday to beat Norfolk and Hunter 36 62 63 in the Quad Double decider

Atlanta Masters Offical Website