Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands and Johan Andersson of Sweden won Saturday’s women’s singles and quad singles titles respectively at the 21st British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Meanwhile, after world No. 1 Vergeer beat her compatriot Jiske Griffioen in the women’s singles final, Sunday’s last day of play will see an all-Dutch men’s singes final as second seed Maikel Scheffers takes on fourth seed Ronald Vink.
Griffioen missed chances to level at 1-1 and was broken a further twice as Vergeer’s power proved too much for her in the first set of the women’s singles final. However, the world No. 7 and fourth seed played a much better second set despite going a break down at 3-1 and she narrowly missed out on being able to get back on terms. Griffioen confidently saved three match points and was unlucky not to save a fourth as a low Vergeer forehand just had enough impetus to reach the net before tipping over the net cord to wrap up a 10th British Open title for the top seed after a 61 64 victory.
The quad doubles final proved even more dramatic as Andersson clinched his first British Open title and his second Super Series title of 2010 with a three set victory over defending champion David Wagner of the United States.
Andersson put a sequence of four games together as he raced to a 4-1 lead en route to easing through the first set impressively. However, Wagner broke at the start of the second set and carried that momentum through to level the match before Andersson gained a decisive break to moved 5-3 ahead in the decider. Wagner produced an impressive game to stay in touch and looked to be on the verge of levelling the final set, but two of his subsequent forehands were called out at the baseline on the final two points of the match and Andersson was able to celebrate a 62 36 64 victory despite Wagner’s remonstrations with the umpire.
The Swedish world No. 3 adds the British Open title to his victory over Wagner in the final of the first Super Series event of the year, April’s Florida Open.
World No. 4 Scheffers was delighted to reach his first men’s singles Super Series final after recovering from losing an early break in his semifinal against two-time former British Open champion and fellow Dutchman Robin Ammerlaan. Scheffers raced through the second set for a 76(5), 60 victory that sets up a rematch of last weekend’s Swiss Open final against, with Scheffers now going in search of his second NEC Tour title in successive weeks.
World No. 6 Vink had a much tougher time against French world No. 7 Nicolas Peifer after Peifer snatched the opening set. However, Florida Open men’s champion Vink kept his bid for a second Super Series title of the year alive after a tense 46 64 64 victory.
The first of this year’s main draw doubles titles to be decided came in the men’s doubles after Frenchman Stephane Houdet and Satoshi Saida of Japan exchanged two very different opening sets with Dutch third seeds Ammerlaan and Tom Egberink and then won four of the last five games to justify their top seeding after a 60 26 64 victory in the final.
Sunday’s action is set to conclude with two British finalists in main draw doubles finals. After British No. 1 Lucy Shuker earned a place in the women’s doubles final on Friday, Saturday’s quad doubles semifinals brought a dramatic victory for Andrew Lapthorne and his partner Andersson.
Second seeds Andersson and Lapthorne produced a fine effort to recover from losing the first set of their semifinal against Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallists Boaz Kramer and Shraga Weinberg of Israel, eventually beating the fourth seeds 26 64 63. Andersson and Lapthorne will now face top seeds Sarah Hunter of Canada and Wagner in Sunday’s final after Hunter and Wagner beat Dutch duo Dorrie Timmermans and Bas van Erp 64 63.
Saturday’s penultimate day of play at the 21st British Open also included a visit from Mandeville, the mascot for the London 2012 Paralympics, who met players and spectators and greeted winners and runners-up throughout the first of two days of finals.
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