Photo: Iain FindlayPeter Norfolk (GBR)
World No. 1 ranked players Shingo Kunieda of Japan, Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands and David Wagner of the USA retained their men's, women's and quad singles titles as the wheelchair tennis event at US Open in New York drew to a close on Sunday.
Kunieda had withdrawn from the final of the US Open USTA Wheelchair Tennis Championships in St. Louis a week earlier to nurse an elbow injury and his title defence at the final Grand Slam of the season looked like it might be in danger, too, as world No. 3 Stephane Houdet held serve in the fifth game of the title decider in New York to open up a 5-3 advantage.
Houdet then confidently broke serve in the next game, clinching five of the last six games of the first set to move a step closer to his first Grand Slam title.
However, the Frenchman's hopes moved further and further away as the second set progressed and Kunieda built up a commanding 5-1 lead before levelling the final on his first set point of the match.
With Kunieda now on a roll, he carried all his momentum into the final set, winning all the important points as he sealed a 36 61 60 victory in an hour and 36 minutes.
Vergeer lifts sixth US Open women's title
Esther Vergeer went into her all-Dutch women's singles final against world No. 4 Aniek van Koot having won her last two US Open finals without dropping a game.
However, having built up a 3-0 first set lead against van Koot, Vergeer's hopes of repeating the feat for the third year in a row disappeared as van Koot held her serve for the loss of just one point to reduced her margin of deficit to 3-1. Van Koot went on to break Vergeer's serve to move to within just one game of the five-time champion, but Vergeer dominated the remainder of the opening set and with van Koot unable to get to deuce in the next three games Vergeer clinched the opening set 6-2.
Vergeer built up another commanding 4-0 lead in the second set before van Koot could get on the scoreboard with a second break of her opponent's serve, but Vergeer was unmoved and went on to seal her sixth US Open title and her 429th successive match win after needing just 51 minutes to clinch a 62 61 victory.
“I am happy with the result. Today, I was confident, even though I didn’t feel as strong as the past two years. Aniek definitely came out tough," said Vergeer afterwards.
“I enjoy the environment here. The fans are incomparable to any other Grand Slam. There were so many people watching this week and it was great. If there are a lot of people enjoying the game and cheering at the right time, it makes me feel good,” added the 11-time ITF world champion.
Wagner retains quad title after Norfolk retires
The day after beating world No. 2 Peter Norfolk in straight sets in their third and last match in the round-robin phase of the quad singles, world No. 1 David Wagner gained his third Grand Slam title in succession after Norfolk was forced to retire with an injury during the second set of the final.
Norfolk took a slender 2-1 lead at the start of the opening set before coming from 3-5 down to level the set at 5-5. However, after missing the chance to move 6-5 ahead the Briton was able to win just one more game, taking the opening game of the second set.
From 15-40 down in the fourth game of the second set, Norfolk took the game to deuce. But Wagner went on to take the game to lead 7-5, 3-1 before Norfolk retired, his mobility restricted by an injury to his side sustained a week earlier, on the final day of the Super Series tournament in St. Louis.
US Open Grand Slam Draws
Wagner and Norfolk to contest quad singles final
Houdet and van Koot reach US Open finals
Gershony beats Wagner in New York