Alfie Hewett earned the ideal confidence-boost ahead of the US Open in New York when he beat world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan in Sunday’s men’s singles final at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships in St. Louis.
With Hewett having won his first career Super Series singles title at the Cajun Classic in Baton Rouge in March, where he also defeated Kunieda in the final, the world No.2 wrapped up a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory in their latest meeting. Hewett has now won two of his four head-to-heads against Kunieda this season.
“I’m really pleased to come through this week in St. Louis. The standard has been really high and in tough conditions, too, so I had to fight for every match. Looking ahead to New York, it is obviously a good confidence-booster and I will try take that momentum into the Grand Slam,” said Hewett, who reached the men’s singles final at the US Open in 2017, when making his debut at the final Grand Slam of the year.
— Alfie Hewett (@alfiehewett6) September 2, 2018
Earlier in the day Andy Lapthorne made a fine start to the quad singles final against world No.1 David Wagner, establishing an early 5-1 lead. However, Lapthorne was unable to maintain his momentum and Wagner eventually took the win 6-5, 6-1 after the two players had been on the same side of the net when pairing up to win Saturday’s quad doubles final.
Andy Lapthorne claimed his first Super Series double title of 2018 on the penultimate day of competition in St. Louis after partnering David Wagner of the USA to retain their US Open USTA Championships title in fine style. Top seeds Lapthorne and Wagner beat Australia second seeds and Rio Paralympic champions Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles champions in St. Louis for the 2nd year in a row with @wagnertennis we haven’t dropped a set at this event in the last 2 years. Singles final tomorrow against each other pic.twitter.com/2o9odhR6S5
— Andy Lapthorne (@lapstar11) September 1, 2018
While world No. 3 Lapthorne goes on to play world No.1 Wagner in Sunday’s quad singles final, Alfie Hewett till also play Shingo Kunieda of Japan in the men’s singles final. However, it wasn’t to be for Hewett and Gordon Reid in the men’s doubles final as the second seeds and three-time Wimbledon champions lost out to French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer 6-4, 6-1.
But Reid did complete his tournament on a winning note after beating Satoshi Saida of Japan 6-0, 6-1 to win the men’s consolation singles.
Brits will contest four Super Series finals this weekend at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships in St. Louis after Alfie Hewett and Andy Lapthorne both won their respective men’s and quad singles semi-finals in straight sets on Friday and Lapthorne, Hewett and Gordon Reid advanced to doubles finals.
World No.3 Lapthorne (pictured above) beat Australian world No.2 and Rio Paralympic champion Dylan Alcott for the first time since last year’s US Open Grand Slam in New York to maintain his title defence in St. Louis. Lapthorne won his semi-final 6-4, 6-3 and will now play his doubles partner, David Wagner of the USA in Sunday’s quad singles final.
Before then Lapthorne and Wagner will play Alcott and Heath Davidson in Saturday’s quad doubles final after defeating Japan’s Koji Sugeno and Nick Taylor of the USA 6-3, 7-5 in their last four meeting.
World No. 2 Hewett reached his first men’s singles final since winning the Cajun Classic crown in the USA in March when he edged out Belgium’s world No.6 Joachim Gerard. 6-4, 7-6(3). Having met Shingo Kunieda in the first two Super Series finals of 2018, including when beating Kunieda at the Cajun Classic, Hewett will now face Japan’s world No.1 and recent British Open champion again in the last Super Series final of the year.
Hewett and Reid face familiar rivals in Saturday’s men’s doubles final, when they take on French top sees Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer. Seconds seeds Hewett and Reid put their British Open semi-final loss to Gustavo Fernandez and Kunieda firmly behind them as the British duo won the important points to defeat their Argentinian-Japanese opponents 6-4, 7-5.
However, there was disappointment for Lucy Shuker and Japan’s Yui Kamiji after their women’s doubles title defence came to an end. Shuker and Kamiji lost out to South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane and Japan’s Momoko Ohtani 6-2, 6-1.
Andy Lapthorne (pictured above) and Alfie Hewett booked their places in the quad singles and men’s singles semi-finals on Thursday in St. Louis before Lapthorne and Lucy Shuker made comfortable progress through to the quad doubles and women’s doubles semi-finals with their respective partners.
Lapthorne made it back-to-back wins in Super Series events against Japan’s world No. 5 Koji Sugeno. Having beaten Sugeno in the semi-finals of the British Open, world No. 3 Lapthorne won their St. Louis quarter-final 6-3, 6-3 to set up a semi-final against Australian second seed Dylan Alcott.
World No. 2 Hewett led his men’s singles quarter-final against Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki 7-5, 4-1 before Suzuki had to retired with injury. Hewett goes on to play Belgium’s Joachim Gerard as the British No. 1 bids to reach his third Super Series singles final of 2018.
It wasn’t to be for Lucy Shuker in the last eight of the women’s singles as the British No. 1 and world No. 8 lost out to Dutch third seed Aniek van Koot 6-3, 6-1.
However Shuker ended the day on a high as she and Yui Kamiji of Japan opened their women’s doubles title defence in style. Shuker and Kamiji sped past Japan’s Kanako Domori and Korea’s Ju-Youn Park 6-0, 6-0, the top seeds advancing to a semi-final against the fourth seeds, South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane and Japan’s Momoko Ohtani.
Lapthorne and the USA’s David Wagner also began their quad doubles title defence in fine form after a 6-0 6-0 win over Canada’s Mitch McIntyre and Julio Rueda of Guatemala. Next for Lapthorne and Wagner is a semi-final against Sugeno and the USA’s Nick Taylor, the tournament third seeds.
All four Brits are in singles or doubles semi-final action on Friday.
After a seven hour rain delay to the start of Wednesday’s second day of play in St. Louis, Andy Lapthorne opened his quad singles title defence with a confident 6-1, 6-3 win over the USA’s former champion and former world No.1 Nick Taylor. World No. 3 Lapthorne advances to a quarter-final against Japan’s world No.5 Koji Sugeno, the player Lapthorne beat in last month’s British Open semi-finals.
Lucy Shuker also made a fine start to her women’s singles campaign, beating Japan’s Kanako Domori 6-3, 6-1. The British No.1 and sixth seed plays Dutch third seed Aniek van Koot next for a place in the semi-finals.
While Alfie Hewett resumes his men’s singles campaign on Thursday, Hewett and Reid also made a wining start to their men’s doubles challenge, the second seeds defeating Takashi Sanada of Japan and Ben Weekes of Australia 7-5, 6-2. Hewett and Reid now face Gustavo Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda, the same duo they faced in their recent Wimbledon and British Open semi-finals, as well as last year’s semi-final in St. Louis.
Alfie Hewett booked his place in the men’s singles quarter-finals as the final Super Series tournament of 2018 began with incredibly tough first round matches for the world No.2 and fellow Brit Gordon Reid.
Cajun Classic champion back in March, Hewett dug deep to overcome world No.8 Nicolas Peifer of France 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 and will now play Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki for a place in the semi-finals as he continues his bid for a second Super Series title.
With world No. 5, Reid just missing out on one of the four seeded positions and after being drawn against Argentina’s world No.4 Gustavo Fernandez, Britain’s reigning Japan Open Super Series champion was edged out 7-5, 6-4.
After his first round bye reigning quad singles champion Andy Lapthorne will open his title defence against former world No.1 and former US Open Super Series champion Nick Taylor of the USA, while Lucy Shuker is set to open her women’s singles campaign against Japan’s Kanako Domori.
Hewett and Reid are second seeds for the men’s doubles and play Japan’s Takashi Sanada and Australia’s Ben Weekes in their opening match, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, defending champions and top seeds Lucy Shuker and Yui Kamiji of Japan are among the players directly through to the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles and are the only pairing still waiting to find out their first opponents of the week. Lapthorne and David Wagner are also defending champions and top seeds for the quad doubles and the Anglo-American duo are also waiting to discover the identities of their opponents in their quarter-final.
Both Hewett and Reid go into the event as Super Series singles champions already this year. World No. 2 Hewett beat current world No.1 Shingo Kunieda to win his first Super Series singles crown at the Cajun Classic in Baton Rouge in March.
Reid also beat Kunieda in the final of May’s Japan Open.
Both Brits have been dealt tough first round men’s singles contests against fellow top 10 ranked players. Hewett plays world No.8 Nicolas Peifer of France, while world No.5 Reid faces world No. 4 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina.
Lapthorne returns to St. Louis as the reigning quad singles and doubles champion after beating Australia’s Heath Davidson in last year’s singles final. Lapthorne has been a finalist in three Super Series events so far this season.
After a first round bye world No. 3 and third seed Lapthorne will play one of two American players – former world No.1 Nick Taylor or Steven Baxter in his opening match this year. Wagner also won last year’s quad doubles title partnering American David Wagner.
Shuker returns to a tournament where she claimed her first and, to date, only Super Series singles crown in 2016 and the world No.7 and sixth seed play’s Japan’s Kanako Domori in her opening match this time. Shuker also won the women’s doubles in St. Louis last year and once again pairs up with Japan’s Yui Kamiji in a bid to retain their title.