DAY 6 (Sunday 22 July)
‘Lapthorne edged out in final as 2018 titles decided’
Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne narrowly missed out on his maiden quad singles title at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on Sunday as David Wagner of the USA, Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Diede de Groot of the Netherlands took the titles at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
A valiant effort from Lapthorne in his fourth British Open quad singes final in five years saw the world No. 3 ranked Brit produce a clinical and composed first set performance, dropping just one point in his first two service games to build a 3-0 and he closed out the set on his second set point.
However, Lapthorne’s composure slightly wavered in the second set, allowing Wagner to get back into the match. Rio Paralympic silver medallist Lapthorne continued to dig deep as he tried to avenge his loss to Wagner in the 2017 final, but the American would not be denied and he recovered from 3-1 down in the final set to wrap up his fourth British Open title 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the end of an emotional week, with the world No.1’s grandmother having passed away earlier in the week.
“They’re not ever easy and they shouldn’t be, being the final, but emotionally that one was tough with dealing with the loss of my grandma. Andy played incredibly well all the way through. I don’t feel his level dropped a whole lot. So in the second and third sets it was just a case of sticking to the game plan. So my level went up and the scores indicate that,” said Wagner.
“It’s awesome to have everyone come out to support us. I don’t think they were supporting me today, maybe, but what is great is people just enjoying our sport.”
“No excuses today,” said Lapthorne. “I played a ridiculous level in the first set and to keep that up is very tough. It was just one or two points here or there, so it’s just a case of keeping putting yourself out there and one of these days one of these finals will fall to me. Credit to him, at 3-1 in the third and 40-15 he pulled off four of the best returns you’ll ever see and that about sums up his class.”
With record crowds having enjoyed this year’s British Open after the Tennis Foundation made free tickets available, Sunday’s crowd was treated to a master class from Kunieda in the men’s singles final.
Japan’s world No.1 and two-time former champion Stephane Houdet contested a match of the highest quality and on any other day Houdet’s tally of clean winners would have earned him a third British Open title. However, Kunieda consistently found a way to win the big points and sealed a 6-1, 6-2 win for his sixth British Open title after an hour and 12 minutes.
“I love Nottingham and I love to play here and today many spectators have turned out, so thank you for watching,” said two-time Paralympic champion Kunieda, who first played Houdet at the British Open 10 years ago before beating the Frenchman in the 2009 final. “I lost Wimbledon first round last week and so I really wanted to win here this week and I could play well and hit my peak.”
Service holds were at a premium in the early stage of the women’s singles final, but defending champion Kamiji finally imposed herself to serve out the opening set. De Groot gained the crucial break for a decisive 5-3 lead in the second set and another break at 4-3 in the third provided a firm grounding for de Groot to clinch her first British Open title 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 as a backhand from the top seed’s racket clipped the top of the net and trickled down onto Kamiji’s side of the court on de Groot’s first match point.
“I could definitely notice we were very tired after having come straight from Wimbledon, so I think today it was who could hold on and keep trying to go for it going for it.” said de Groot, who claimed her second Wimbledon title last weekend. “It’s been quite mentally tough but, of course, I’m really excited to add the British Open title.”
With Sunday’s last day of play also seeing the conclusion of the British Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Championships, there was local East Midlands success for Long Eaton’s Abbie Breakwell and Dahnon Ward, who won the girls’ singles and junior doubles, respectively, with Ward partnering Norwich player Ben Bartram to the doubles title. Bartram also won the boys singles title to cap a memorable tournament.
Women’s Singles – Diede de Groot (NED)
Men’s Singles – Shingo Kunieda (JPN)
Quads Singles – David Wagner (USA)
Women’s Doubles – Diede de Groot (NED) & Yui Kamiji (JPN)
Men’s Doubles – Stefan Olsson (SWE) & Joachim Gerard (BEL)
Quads Doubles – David Wagner (USA) & Bryan Barten (USA)
Girls Singles – Abbie Breakwell (GBR)
Boys Singles – Ben Bartram (GBR)
Junior Doubles – Dahnon Ward (GBR) & Ben Bartram (GBR)
Women’s Singles – Elizabeth Williams (USA)
Men’s Singles – Ruairi Logan (GBR)
Women’s Doubles – Elizabeth Williams (USA) & Cornelia Oosthuizen (GBR)
Men’s Doubles – Philip Fielding (AUT) & Mark Langeveld (GBR)
DAY 5 (Saturday 21 July) – REVIEW
‘Wimbledon Winners Lift Titles at British Open’
Winners at last week’s Wimbledon Championships were again to the fore on Saturday’s penultimate day of the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships as Diede de Groot of the Netherlands, Yui Kamiji of Japan, Sweden’s Stefan Olsson and David Wagner of the USA all collected titles at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
De Groot and Kamiji will now meet in Sunday’s women’s singles final, while Wagner will face Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne in the quad singles final. The men’s singles final will see Japan’s Shingo Kunieda take on Stephane Houdet of France as the fifth of six Super Series events on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour comes to an end.
A week after winning his second Wimbledon men’s singles title Olsson partnered Belgium’s Joachim Gerard to their first British Open men’s doubles title, the Wimbledon doubles finalists defeating Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Kunieda 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s amazing, first winning The Championships at Wimbledon in singles and now actually playing that kind of match with Jo in the doubles final here, it’s unbelievable. So fun,” said Olsson. “If we can keep on playing like this in the future it’s going to be really interesting. Jo got everything back today, so I guess today’s win is down to Jo. He put them under a lot of pressure and I could just come in and finish off the points.”
Olsson and Gerard’s task may have been made easier by the fact that Fernandez and Kunieda had been on court for the best part of two hours earlier in the day to complete their singles semi-final against each other. With rain having caused the match to be suspended at 5-2 in the first set on Friday evening, defending champion Fernandez managed to force a third and deciding set against world No.1 Kunieda before the top seed prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
While Kunieda will be back on court against Houdet on Sunday, so will Wagner after the world No.1 quad singles and doubles player partnered fellow American Bryan Barten to their third straight British Open quad doubles title. The top seeds got the better of a match that swung significantly one way and then the other to defeat Japan’s Shota Kawano and Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva 6-0, 4-6, 6-0.
Wagner now plays world No. 3 Lapthorne in the quad singles final in Nottingham for the second year in a row, with Lapthorne looking to end the event with a British victory.
The women’s singles final will also be a rematch of last year’s title decider as de Groot attempts to avenge her loss 12 months ago to two-time British Open champion Kamiji. It’s a week since de Groot claimed her second Wimbledon ladies’ singles title with victory over Kamiji and they then paired up to win the ladies’ double. They added another prestigious title on Saturday, beating Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and Charlotte Famin of France 6-3, 6-0 to lift their first British Open doubles title together.
DAY 4 (Friday 20 July) – REVIEW
‘Lapthorne Sails Through to Quads Final at British Open’
World No. 3 Andy Lapthorne will attempt to clinch a home victory for the home crowd at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on Sunday after earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Japan’s Koji Sugeno in Friday’s quad singles semi-finals at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Lapthorne booked his place in his fourth British Open final since 2014 after earning a commanding 5-0 first set lead against world No. 5 Sugeno. Having lost out to Sugeno in three close sets at last month’s Open de France Super Series in Paris, Lapthorne ensured he finished on a high this time and put together another sequence of five successive games to complete his win over fourth seed Sugeno.
“He’s a dangerous player, he has weapons from everywhere on the court, so that’s why I was so pumped up, because if you drop your level even one or two notches he’s going to strike. So I had to use my experience to get over the line and now it’s all about looking forward to coming back and doing it all again on Sunday,” said Lapthorne.
“I played well, and then he stepped it up for a few games and la net cord goes his way on a big point in the next game. But when you give yourself a five game lead the chances are you’re going to nick it. So I was always comfortable. You have to win these matches, and what I’ve learnt is you can’t expect to win every point and every game, so I’m really happy to be back in the final here in Nottingham.”
Lapthorne will now play world No.1 and defending champion David Wagner in the quad final for the second year in a row after Wagner defeated Australian third seed Heath Davidson 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.
Alfie Hewett’s hopes of making it two Brits in Sunday’s finals were dashed by Frenchman Stephane Houdet, who won their men’s singles semi-final 7-5, 6-2. Hewett served for the opening set at 5-4 and saved two match points, but his effort were to no avail as world No. 4 Houdet maintained his challenge for a third British Open title.
Houdet’s opponent is still to be decided after the other semi-final between Shingo Kunieda and defending champion Gustavo Fernandez was suspended on Friday evening due to rain. The match will resume on Saturday morning with five-time British Open champion and top seed Kunieda leading 5-2 in the first set.
The women’s singles final will between the world’s top two ranked players and last year’s finalists Diede de Groot of the Netherlands and Yui Kamiji of Japan.
World No.1 de Groot eased past 2013 British Open champion Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany 6-2, 6-1. However, Kamiji’s hopes of retaining her title required a comeback, with the second seed beating former finalist Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
DAY 3 (Thursday 19 July) – REVIEW
‘Alfie Hewett Reaches Second Successive Men’s Singles Semi-Final at British Open’
British No.1 Alfie Hewett produced one of his trademark comebacks en route to beating two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson 7-5 6-4 on Thursday to reach his second successive British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships men’s singles semi-final at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
World No.2 Hewett, 20, bounced back from 5-2 down in the opening set and saved a total of four set points as he avenged his loss to Olsson in last week’s Wimbledon semi-finals. Hewett – who reached his first British Open singles final 12 months ago, will now face two-time champion and world No. 4 Stephane Houdet in Friday’s semi-finals.
“Stefan’s been playing some of the kind of tennis he was playing last week at Wimbledon. So, yeah, I was trying to keep positive and optimistic about it. I always know that I can come back and that anything can happen in a tennis match, so obviously to do it in those circumstances is something I’m really, really happy about,” said Hewett.
“I really wanted to win. I think last week really hurt, and to come here this week and get a chance to play him again was a bit of payback.”
Houdet denied Gordon Reid the opportunity of contesting an all-British semi-final for the second year, Although Reid launched a mini revival at 5-1 down in the second set of his f his quarter-final, the Frenchman progressed 6-2, 6-3.
Looking ahead to the semi-final, Hewett said:
“I also played him last week (in the quarter-finals) at Wimbledon, so I’m sure he’s probably got a little bit of a point to prove. I’m looking forward to it. The crowd has been really good this week, to see people coming in and watching, it’s great to have that support and hopefully they can come back tomorrow and hopefully I can play well again.”
The other men’s semi-final will see five-time British Open champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan take on Argentina’s defending champion Gustavo Fernandez.
Lucy Shuker’s hopes of maintaining British interest in the women’s singles came to an end against world No.4 Sabine Ellerbrock as Ellerbrock’s consistency outweighed Shuker’s flashes of brilliance and the German progressed 6-3, 6-2.
Ellerbrock, the 2013 British Open champion, plays world No.1 and 2017 runner-up Diede de Groot for a place in this year’s final after de Groot raced through her quarter-final against Colombia’s Angelica Berna 6-0, 6-1.
The other women’s singles semi-final will see defending champion Yui Kamiji of Japan face third seed and former finalists Anie van Koot. World No.2 Kamiji led South Africa’s Kgothatso Motjane 3-1 when Montane had to retire from their quarter-final due to illness. Dutch world No. 3 van Koot beat the USA’s Dana Mathewson 6-3, 6-4.
In the doubles events, there was dissapointment for all three of Britain’s leading pairs. Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill lost their semi-final, with Shuker also bowing out alongside her partner, Dana Mathewson from the USA. The day concluded with an enthralling men’s doubles semi-final that was a repeat of last week’s Wimbledon doubles semi-final. Hewett and Reid looked like they might stage a stunning comeback after being a set and 3-0 down, but this time it was Kunieda and Fernandez that sealed the win in a match that saw some brilliant tennis played.
Friday’s fourth day of play at Nottingham Tennis Centre will see both Hewett and Britain’s Andy Lapthorne play their singles semi-finals. Lapthorne will be attempting to book his place in his fourth British Open Super Series quad singles final since 2014 when he faces Japan’s Koji Sugeno in the semi-finals.
DAY 2 (Wednesday 18 July) – REVIEW
‘Lapthorne Reaches British Open Quad Singles Semis’
Andy Lapthorne booked his place in the quad singles semi-finals at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on Wednesday, when the world No.3 led a clean sweep of home player victories on Centre Court at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
While Lapthorne stayed on course in his bid to reach his fourth British Open final since 2014, Lucy Shuker, Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid all booked their respective places in the women’s and men’s singles quarter-finals, with Hewett and Reid now one match win away from setting up an all-Brit men’s singles semi-final in Nottingham for the second successive year.
Last year’s quad singles runner-up, Lapthorne beat Brazil’s world No. 8 Ymanitu Silva 7-6(3), 6-2 and will now face Japan’s Koji Sugeno in a rematch of last month’s Open de France Super Series final in Paris. Sugeno reached his first British Open semi-final with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Britain’s Richard Green.
“Obviously after last week I’ve been on a massive high,” said Lapthorne, winner of Saturday’s first ever quad doubles exhibition at Wimbledon alongside American David Wagner. ”To then come out and bring energy is tough at times. So, it was a tough first set, but nice to pull that out, and then I relaxed in the second set and started to play the way I should play. Credit to him, he made it tough.”
Looking ahead to this semi-final, Lapthorne said:
“It’s a smaller court here than the one where he beat me in Paris last month, so I’m confident going into it. I just take every day as it comes and hopefully I’ll play well enough to get to another final.”
The other quad singles semi-final will be a rematch from last year after world No.1 Wagner and Australian fourth seed Heath Davidson both won their quarter-finals in straight sets.
Shuker will play Germany’s world No.4 Sabine Ellerbrock, the player she partnered to last weekend’s Wimbledon ladies’ doubles final, in Thursday’s women’s singles quarter-finals in Nottingham after defeating fellow Brit Lauren Jones 6-2, 6-1.
“Lauren’s a good player, she’ll hit big balls if I put it in her hitting zone, so I just tried to execute my game and I think I did it quite well,” said Shuker following her first match of this year’s British Open.
“She’s (Ellerbrock) going to be a tough player. She’ll slice it, she’s like a tactician on the court, she knows where she wants to put it and she puts it there, so she’ll make it difficult for me. But hopefully if I can play my game well… We’ve had some really close matches, so hopefully I might be able to get the win this time.”
Elsewhere, Colombia’s Angelica Bernal beat Brazil’s Natalia Mayara 6-2, 6-2 to reach her second straight British Open quarter-final and next plays world No.1 Diede de Groot of the Netherlands. Second seed Yui Kamiji of Japan will open her British Open women’s singles title defence against South Africa’s world No.6 Kgothatso Montjane, who beat Germany’s Katharina Kruger on Wednesday to repeat her win over the same player in last week’s Wimbledon quarter-finals.
World No. 2 Hewett beat fellow Brit Dermot Bailey 6-2, 7-5 as he began his bid to reach the men’s singles final for the second year in a row. Hewett next plays seventh seed Stefan Olsson of Sweden after Olsson won their Wimbledon semi-final last week on his way to his second title on the grass at SW19.
“He had a lot of game points and there were a lot of deuces so I think he played some really good tennis, and he should be proud of how he played out there,” said Hewett as he reflected on his match against Bailey. “For myself, I’ve just got to try and recover and rest as much as I can and get ready for tomorrow, which is probably going to be a tough match.”
“He (Olsson) beat me last week at Wimbledon so I’ve got a bit of a grudge against him right now and got something to prove, I think. But I won’t take that into it, I’ll just take it as another match. He’s a great player and he’ll be a tough player to beat.”
Should Hewett beat Olsson and two-time British Open and world No. 5 finalist Reid beat world No.4-ranked Frenchman Stephane Houdet, the two Brits will play each other for a place in the final for the second year in a row.
“The first set was quite comfortable, I played pretty solid and he was giving me a lot of errors and then I lost a bit of accuracy in the second,” said Reid after winning his opening match against Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki 6-1, 7-6(5). “He started swinging free which made it difficult for me in the second set, but I served well at the right moments and I’m happy to come through in two sets.”
“Houdet’s a really smart player and always makes it difficult. I’ve not played him too much recently but I did play him at Queen’s on a different surface (grass) and it was good to play him for the first time in a while there, so I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be a tough match.”
Houdet, the 2015 and 2016 British Open champion, beat Belgium’s Jef Vandorpe 7-5 6-1 as he launched his 2018 campaign.
DAY 1 (TUESDAY 17 JULY) – REVIEW
Tuesday’s opening day of the 2018 tournament saw quad singles players in action as they battle for a quarter final place.
Reigning National champion Richard Green won through to face world No.1 and defending champion David Wagner of the USA in Wednesday’s quad singles quarter-finals at the British Open, when Wimbledon finalists Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne will all be in singles action at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Green beat fellow Brit Garry Cox 6-0, 6-1 in one of seven quad singles matches that got this year’s Super Series tournament underway, but local Nottinghamshire hope James Shaw and Rio Paralympian Antony Cotterill both bowed out. Shaw lost out narrowly to Japan’s Shota Kawano 7-5, 7-5, while Cotterill bowed out to third seed and 2017 semi-finalist Heath Davidson of Australia 6-1 6-0.
Among the highlights on the first day of play, Japan’s world No.5 Koji Sugeno recovered from a set and 3-1 down to defeat two-time British Open champion Lucas Sithole of Sought Africa 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Fourth seed Sugeno will now play Green for a place in the semi-finals.
Sugeno’s win was one of two three-set victories for World Top 10 ranked players, with world No.8 Ymanitu Silva defeating young Dutchman Sam Schroder 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. Silva will next be the first opponent of the week for second seed and multiple British Open finalist Lapthorne when they meet on Wednesday.
However, world No.7 Bryan Barten bowed out, beaten for the second time this season by Canada’s world No.11 Rob Shaw, who advanced 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Wednesday’s second day of play starts with the quad singles quarter-finals, with Lapthorne one of the four British stars from Wimbledon 2018 who will be in Centre Court action. Next up, Wimbledon ladies’ doubles finalist and British No.1 Lucy Shuker faces fellow Brit Lauren Jones as the remaining four quarter-final berths in the women’s singles are decided.
Wednesday’s women’s singles contests will also see South Africa’s world No.6 Kgothatso Montjane face world No. 8 Katharina Kruger of Germay in a rematch of their Wimbledon quarterfinal.
Three-time Wimbledon doubles champions Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid have already graced Centre Court at Nottingham Tennis Centre this year, bringing Tuesday’s first day of play to a close with a 6-3, 6-2 quarter-final win over Dutchman Maikel Scheffers and Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki. Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Shingo Kunieda of Japan, runners-up to Hewett and Reid at Wimbledon on Sunday, are also into the British Open men’s doubles semi-finals after another straight sets wins.
All four are in men’s singles action in Nottingham on Wednesday, along with Sweden’s two-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion Stefan Olsson.
DRAWS (Monday 16 July)
The singles draws for the 2018 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre have been made! Our summaries are below, along with links to the full draws. Draws for the doubles tournament are yet to be made.
Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are in the same half of the men’s singles draw for the 2018 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships for the second successive year at Nottingham Tennis Centre – the past finalists contested the first ever all-Brit men’s semi-final at the Super Series tournament 12 months ago.
2017 runner-up Hewett is set to face fellow Briton Dermot Bailey as he gets his 2018 campaign underway, while two-time finalist Reid is drawn to meet Japan’s world No.15 Kouhei Suzuki in his opening match.
Defending champion and Sunday’s Wimbledon runner-up Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina will play Adam Berdichevsky of Israel for a place in this year’s quarter-finals, while among the stand-out opening matches for players with first round byes is the match-up between two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden and two-time British Open champion Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands.
British No.1 Lucy Shuker will open her women’s singles challenge against fellow Brit Lauren Jones, with the winner earning a quarter-final against Germany’s fourth seed Sabine Ellerbrock, the player who Shuker partnered to Sunday’s ladies’ doubles final at Wimbledon.
World No.1 and two-time Wimbledon champion Diede de Groot and defending British Open champion Yui Kamiji have first round byes. However, among the Top 10 ranked players without first round byes are South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane and Germany’s Katharina Kruger, who will meet in a rematch of their Wimbledon ladies’ singles quarter-final – a contest that Montjane won.
The quad singles kicks off a week of world class international sport on Tuesday, with local favourite James Shaw playing Japan’s Shota Kawano in the first match scheduled on Centre Court.
Shaw’s fellow Brit Antony Cotterill follows Shaw on to Centre Court to face Australian third seed Heath Davidson.
Both British No.1 and world No.3 Andy Lapthorne and the USA’s world No.1 David Wagner have received first round byes as a result of being the top two seeded players. Both made history at the weekend, winning the first ever quad doubles exhibition match at Wimbledon.
South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, who joined Lapthorne and Wagner on court at Wimbledon, closes the schedule singles action on Centre Court on Tuesday when he faces Japan’s Koji Sugeno – a match which sees the world No.5 (Sugeno) take on the world No. 6 (Sithole).