For the second year in a row Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett and Lucy Shuker all open their doubles campaigns on show courts when the 11th US Open Wheelchair Tennis Event gets underway on Thursday in New York. Meanwhile, former champion Andy Lapthorne completes the full complement of Brits in action on the opening day when he contests the first of his three quad singles round-robin matches.
Reigning champions Hewett and Reid play Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda, the same pairing they beat in last year’s US Open semi-finals, in Thursday’s first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court, the US Open’s centre court. Hewett and Reid also beat Fernandez and Kunieda in this year’s Wimbledon semi-final before going on to win their third title at SW19.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon finalists Shuker and Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany are scheduled to close play on Court 17 later on Thursday when they face top seeds and reigning Wimbledon champions Diede de Groot of the Netherlands and Yui Kamiji of Japan.
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World No.3 Lapthorne, the US Open quad singles champion in 2014 and last year’s runner-up to the USA’s world No.1 David Wagner, faces the familiar scenario at a Grand Slam of contesting a three-way round-robin competition before the top two players after the round-robin go forward to the final.
Lapthorne will play Wagner, his fellow American Bryan Barten and reigning Australian Open champion Dylan Alcott in a bid to book a place in this year’s singles final, with Wagner being Lapthorne’s first opponent on Court 6 on Thursday.
Lapthorne will partner Wagner once again for the quad doubles title decider as the duo bid to retain the title they won against Alcott and Barten in New York in 2017.
When the men’s and women’s singles events get underway on Friday Hewett and Reid are drawn of the same side of the men’s single draw for the second successive year.
Hewett and Reid contested an epic singles semi-final last year, with Hewett advancing after a final set tie-break on his US Open debut. He eventually finished runner-up to Frenchman Stephane Houdet, who is again on the opposite side of the draw to the two Brits.
If they are to meet in the last four again, world No.2 Hewett will first need to beat Belgium’s world No.6 Joachim Gerard, while world No.5 Reid faces Argentina’s world No.3 Gustavo Fernandez.
In the women’s singles British No.1 and world No.8 Shuker will play South Africa’s world No.7 Kgothatso Montjane for a place in the semi-finals when the two meet in Grand Sam competition for the very first time.
— Alfie Hewett (@alfiehewett6) September 5, 2018