World No. 1 players Shingo Kunieda and Esther Vergeer retained their men's main draw singles and women's singles titles at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Tennis Championships, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in St. Louis on Sunday, while Peter Norfolk celebrated a return to the world No. 1 quad singles ranking after deposing defending champion David Wagner.
Kunieda wins fourth US Open Super Series
Kunieda won his fourth US Open USTA Championships title as he retained his men's main draw singles crown after a spectacular 60 61 victory over world No. 5 Robin Ammerlaan.
The Japanese top seed won the first two games for the loss of just one point and extended his lead to 3-0 as Ammerlaan doubled-faulted to end the next game. Ammerlaan had his first game point of the match in the fifth game, but once Kunieda prevailed and soon wrapped up the set without reply.
Ammerlaan got his only game on the board as the two players exchanged service break to start the second set, but after the Dutchman relinquished a point that would have given him a 2-1 the momentum was all with Kunieda once again and he wrapped up his 102nd successive singles match win with a forehand return winner.
Vergeer lands ninth US Open USTA Championships title
After losing her opening service game to compatriot Jiske Griffioen, Vergeer went on to dominate the women's singles final, opening up a 4-1 lead before taking the opening set 6-2 with a cross court winner.
Both players held serve for the first three games of the second set before Vergeer broke world No. 7 Griffioen to establish another 3-1 lead, which quickly progressed to a 5-1 lead. The defending champion subsequently earned herself two match points, but only needed the first as she wrapped up a 62 61 victory with a volley delivered with pinpoint accuracy on to Griffioen's baseline.
Norfolk completes return with fifth US Open title
By far the most closely contested of Sunday's three main draw singles finals was in the quad singles as Norfolk won his fifth US Open Super Series crown.
After arriving in St. Louis as world No. 1, top seed David Wagner gained the early breakthrough to move 4-2 ahead in the first set before Norfolk hit back to 5-4. Wagner kept the set alive with a strong service game and two games later forced a tiebreak, but Norfolk finally broke the deadlock with s forehand down the line take the set 7-6(9-7).
The Briton looked to be cruising to victory as he established a 4-0 second set lead and was two points from victory when Wagner fired a forehand winner, which Norfolk followed with a double fault to take the second set to 5-3. Wagner completed his comeback to force another tiebreak and then went 3-0 ahead before maintaining his pressure on Norfolk and earning four set points after a well-placed volley. Norfolk saved the first set point, but then another double fault proved his undoing and ushered in a deciding set.
Norfolk opened the third set with three double faults to hand Wagner the initiative, but second seed Norfolk made amends with a superb return to win the next game and then gained the crucial break with a cross court forehand winner to move 4-2 ahead.
With the momentum now firmly in his favour Norfolk fired down an ace to earn three game points before extending his advantage to 5-2. Four years after his last US Open Super Series crown in San Diego he then produced another dominant returning game, a cross court forehand return bringing up three match points and Norfolk hitting a backhand sliced down the line to wrap up his 76(7) 67(3) 62 victory.
Ammerlaan and Kunieda win men's doubles title
Kunieda rounded off a memorable week in St. Louis when he paired up with Ammerlaan to win the men's main draw doubles final. The top seeds edged their way into a 3-0 lead in the first set against Dutch third seeds Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink before Kunieda wrapped up the set with a winner that shot down the centre of the court between Scheffers and Vink.
While the second set started with both pairings more evenly matched, Ammerlaan and Kunieda again had the upper hand and eventually went on to record a 63 64 victory.
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US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships Drawsheets
US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships Official Website