06 Sep 2009

Kunieda, Vergeer, Wagner win US Open Super Series


NEWS ARTICLE

Shingo Kunieda (JPN), Esther Vergeer (NED) and David Wagner (USA) completed a series of victories for the top seeds as the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, drew to a close on Sunday in St Louis, Missouri.

After rain had delayed Saturday's penultimate day of play, fine weather ushered in finals day at the third and final Super Series event of the 2009 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with the three champions from the last US Open in San Diego winning the tournament in its first year in its new home.

The women's final was the only one of Sunday's three finals to go to a decider as Korie Homan took Esther Vergeer to a third set for the sixth time in the last two seasons and the eighth time in the 41 career head-to-heads between the world's current top two players.

Vergeer made a magnificent start to the final, putting a away a winner at the net to secure a double break, and stretching her lead to 5-0 after Homan but a back hand in to the net. Despite her advantage, Vergeer served two doubles faults as the next game went to deuce, but the world No. 1 gathered herself and closed out her sixth successive game and the set with a forehand cross court winner.

Homan won her first game of the match to start the second set and she and Vergeer traded games, with Homan serving her most dominant game yet to open up a 3-2 lead with an ace. Vergeer responded by holding her own serve, but Homan then secured what proved to be the decisive break of the set to go 5-3 ahead before forcing the top seed to put a backhand in to the net on set point.

The final set began much the same as the first, with Vergeer hitting a return winner to secure the double break and she again stretched her advantage to 5-0. Homan's determination not to let another set pass without getting on the board paid dividends in the next game, the world No. 2 reducing the deficit to four games with a cross court winner.

Although the next game went to deuce and Homan had a game point, any hopes of a remarkable comeback soon faded and it was Vergeer's turn to produce a cross court winner on her third match point to seal a 60 36 61 victory and clinch the 26th Super Series singles title of her career.

Vergeer's victory also stretched her unbeaten run to 375 matches.

Kunieda wins third successive US Open

The men's main draw singles final produced a closely fought first set between world No. 1 Kunieda and world No. 2 Stephane Houdet, the Frenchman striking first as he broke Kunieda to lead 3-2, maintaining his advantage until he served twice served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 up. However, Kunieda forced the tiebreak, dominating the early exchanges as he opened up a 5-1 lead. Houdet brought the tiebreak score back to 5-4, only to see Kunieda convert his first set point.

With a one set cushion, Kunieda broke at the start of the second set and Houdet mishit a return to give the top seed a double break. Houdet then served to stay in the final, but Kunieda put away a smash to bring up two match points and Houdet put the ball in the net to give the Japanese player his third successive US Open title after a 76(4) 61 victory.

Wagner wins second US Open

Before the quad singles final the US Open was the only one of the current three Super Series events that world No. 1 David Wagner (USA) had won only once, but it didn't take long for the top seed to change that.

Second seed Johan Andersson (SWE) had three game points on Wagner's serve to level the first set at 2-2, but the world No. 3 missed his opportunities and Wagner was quick to capitalise, winning the last four games to close out the first set.

Wagner subsequently gained the first break of the second set, only for Andersson to level at 3-3. Andersson had two game points to lead 4-3, but Wagner saved the first game point with an ace and won the second, leaving Andersson to rue his missed opportunities as the American dominated what was left of the match and slotted a back hand down the line to close out a 61 63 victory.

US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships (USTA Website)

US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships Drawsheets

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