25 Jul 2009

Kunieda and Wagner earn British Open titles


NEWS ARTICLE

Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and David Wagner (USA) won the men's main draw and quad singles titles on Saturday's final day of the 20th British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Nottingham.

World No. 1 Kunieda clinched his third successive men's main draw singles title at the second Super Series event of the season after a straight sets win over world No. 2 Stephane Houdet brought a repeat of the outcome of the 2008 final.

Kunieda made a sensational start, taking a 4-0 lead before Houdet broke the Japanese player’s serve to love to get himself on the score board. However, a run of two games was all the success Houdet had in the first set and the second set looked like being just as unfruitful as Kunieda opened up a 3-0 lead.

However, Houdet rallied to take five of the next seven games in a contest featuring some spellbinding tennis and the Frenchman saluted taking the lead for the first time at 6-5 by punching the air and shouting his delight. Although Houdet then served for the set he found himself 0-40 down and Kunieda soon forced the tie-break.

The Japanese top seed sped through the first five points of the tie-break and then produced an exquisite backhand slice to bring up the first of four match points, but he only need the first as Houdet sent a forehand in to the net to complete Kunieda’s 62 76(2) victory.

Wagner beats world No. 1 Norfolk to regain quad title

Wagner won his second British Open quad singles title in three years as he beat world No. 1 and home favourite Peter Norfolk after a fine display of tennis.

Second seed Wagner asserted himself from the outset, taking a 3-0 lead with some crisp winners and although Norfolk won the next two games, Wagner took the first set with a forehand winner to complete a sequence of four games in a row.

Wagner broke again at the start of the second set, only for Norfolk to keep himself in the hunt as he broke back. However, the American continued to impress and won four of the next five games, Norfolk showing glimpses of his best form as he saved four match points at 5-2 down. But with Wagner earning two more match points in the next game, Norfolk brought the match to a conclusion with a double fault that wrapped up a 62 63 victory for Wagner.

Top seeds win doubles titles

Houdet gained some recompense for his singles final loss as he paired up with his French compatriot Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) to clinch the men’s main draw doubles title for the third successive year, top seeds Houdet and Jeremiasz beat Dutch second seeds Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink 76 60.

After their women’s singles final on Friday, Homan and Vergeer paired up to retain the women’s doubles title on Saturday, building on a 4-0 first set lead to beat Florence Gravellier (FRA) and Jiske Griffioen (NED) 62 61.

However, the match of the day came in the quad doubles final as Wagner and his fellow American Nick Taylor, the reigning Paralympic champions, justified top seeding and retained their British Open title after a 61, 67(3), 64 victory over Norfolk and Jamie Burdekin, Britain’s Beijing Paralympic quad doubles bronze medallists.

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