26 May 2006

Kunieda and Walraven secure Korea Open titles


NEWS ARTICLE

Shingo Kunieda (JPN) retained his Men's Main Draw title at the Korea Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Incheon on Friday, while Sharon Walraven (NED) denied Young-Suk Hong a home victory in the Women's Singles final

A rematch of last year's semi-final in Korea, the Men's Main Draw final between second seed Kunieda and top seeds Satoshi Saida proved a closer contest than Kunieda's runaway victory in Sunday's Japan Open final.

However, a repeat of Sunday's final in Iizuka looked like it might be on the cards again as Kunieda exploded in to a 41 lead before finishing off the first set 63. But then Saida acconmplished something he was unable to do in Iizuka, coming came back strongly to take the second set 62 despite enduring problems with his first serve throughout the match.

The first game of the final set was a long affair, involving six deuces, with Saida having several chance of breaking Kunieda's serve. However, Saida was unable to clinch the crucial break point and after Kunieda had eventually held his served he raced away with the rest of the set to wrap up a 62 26 60 victory.

Following Jiske Griffioen's victory last year, Walraven ensured that the Korea Open Women's Singles title returned to the Netherlands once again as she produced a dominant display against home favourite Hong to land the spoils 61 61.

While top seeds Kunieda and Saida eased to a 61 62 victory over the unseeded partnership of Ha-Gel Lee (KOR) and Robinson Mendez (CHI) in the Men's Main Draw Doubles final, for the second successive day the Women's Doubles produced another epic match.

After a 3 hour and 55 minute semi-final victory on Thursday, second seeds Chiyoko Ohmae and Mie Yaosa (JPN) were involved in another 3 hour long contest in the final against top seeds Walraven and Yuka Chokyu (CAN).

After Walraven and Chokyu had edged the first set they were unable to close out the match when leading the second set 53 with Walraven serving, leaving the door open for the ever-resilient Japanese duo to string together four straght games to smatch the set and level the match.

The final set was again very close, but having seen their chance go in the second set top seeds Walraven and Chokyu eventually finished the stronger to secure the title 64 57 64.



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