Fever-Tree Championships 2018: Sweden’s Stefan Olsson Becomes First Wheelchair Tennis Champion At Queen’s

Fever-Tree Championships 2018: Sweden’s Stefan Olsson Becomes First Wheelchair Tennis Champion At Queen’s
Singles finalists Stefan Olsson (SWE) and Stephane Houdet (FRA)

Recap all the action as Sweden’s Stefan Olsson wins the first ever wheelchair tennis singles tournament at the Fever-Tree Championship at The Queen’s Club, with French duo Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer winning the inaugural doubles title.

Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, both singles semi-finalists, were also doubles runners-up.

Day 3 Finals Results

Singles Final: Stefan Olsson (SWE) beat Stephane Houdet (FRA) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles: Stephane Houdet/Nicolas Peifer (FRA) beat Daniel Caverzaschi (ESP)/Stefan Olsson (SWE) 6-3, 6-2

Men’s Singles Draw    Men’s Doubles Draw

Day 3 Recap – Finals Day

SWEDEN’S STEFAN OLSSON BECOMES FIRST WHEELCHAIR TENNIS CHAMPION AT QUEEN’S

 

Sweden’s Stefan Olsson added his name to the history books at the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club with a masterful performance on Sunday to win the first ever wheelchair tennis singles final, defeating France’s Stephane Houdet in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

 

Reigning Wimbledon champion Olsson, who was also runner-up in the inaugural men’s singles final at SW19 in 2016, showcased his love of playing on grass as he dropped just one game on his way to taking the opening set.

 

Houdet, the reigning US Open champion, made a better start to the second set, but Olsson rarely looked in trouble as he secured back-to-back grass court titles in London in just 53 minutes.

Stefan Olsson, Fever-Tree Championships
Stefan Olsson (SWE)

 

Speaking after the match, Olsson said: “It went my way today. I played really well from the beginning.  I went out there and broke him early – from there on I saw he was going down a little bit in the first set so I just kept on doing my thing. 

 

“Early second set I was playing really well but then I lost a bit of momentum.  He started to play a little bit better but I just gave the ball to him and didn’t play my own game.  I changed it up and ended up with the win, so I am really happy with the result today.

 

“I am super stoked.  It’s one of the coolest things ever to be honest.  To be the first one in anything doesn’t happen a lot, so I am really happy that I got the first win at the Fever-Tree Championships.

 

“Before I came here I didn’t know what kind of shape I was in.  I’ve been away a little bit this year on paternity leave with my son but as soon as I came on the grass I thought wow, yeah, I love this.  From the first match on I just felt like, yeah, I can still play really well on the grass.  For the confidence for Wimbledon I really hope I can keep on doing this.”

 

Reflecting on the match, World No.4 Houdet said “It was really tough.  Stef served very well, I found it difficult for me to return in the first set, but then I found better rhythm in the second.  I had an opportunity when I was 4-2 up but I missed my serve.  I’ve tried to go to the net most of the time but he was so accurate with his passing shots, very fast with the chair making so many recovery shots, and was better today.

 

The players were presented with their trophies in front of a packed Centre Court at The Queen’s Club immediately before Marin Čilić v. Novak Djokovic, and both Olsson and Houdet enjoyed that and the opportunity of playing as part of the Fever-Tree Championships this week.

 

Champion Olsson said “I was nervous [being on centre court for the presentation]. There’re a lot of people, but it is always special to go out on a centre court and get to talk.  I’m really happy I got the chance to do it, but I was nervous.

 

“I’ve loved every second of the environment here.  Everybody’s really friendly.  How they run the tournament is great – everything on and off the court is just super.  We couldn’t ask for anything more than this.”

 

Runner-up Houdet added “It’s so nice being part of this [the Fever-Tree Championships].  I really hope we can have a tour with many, many ATP and WTA events like this one. If we could have wheelchair tennis at the Masters 1000 tournaments and the 500’s it would be a big change for the sport.

 

Houdet did have some success on the final day of the event as he partnered fellow Frenchman to the men’s doubles title as the Rio Paralympic gold medallists finished both of their round-robin matches with straight sets wins after a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi and Olsson.

 

Not even a puncture at 0-40 down in the last game of the match could stop the French pair, who came back out after Houdet’s puncture had been repaired to win the next four points in a row.

 

Houdet said “This week has given us confidence for the doubles [at Wimbledon].  We [Nicolas Peifer and I] know each other very well.  Nico is able to cover the court so UI can stay at the net and try to catch more balls.  At the beginning of the match he was in trouble because of digestion but he came back.  He is so strong with the angles, with the serve and recovery shots also, I feel very comfortable playing with him.”

 

That result meant Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, both semi-finalists in the six-player singles event, finished as runners-up in the doubles and will be looking to regain the upper hand against their French rivals and defend their Wimbledon doubles title next month.

Day 2 Recap

Hewett and Reid end Queen’s campaign on a high with doubles win after singles semi-final defeats

Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid both missed out on the chance to reach the final of the first ever wheelchair tennis tournament at the Fever-Tree Championships, but maintained hopes of winning the men’s doubles with a convincing win over Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi and Stefan Olsson of Sweden.

Sunday’s inaugural wheelchair tennis singles final at The Queen’s Club will see Sweden’s reigning Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson play France’s US Open champion Stephane Houdet after they beat Hewett and Reid respectively in the men’s singles semi-finals.

Stefan Olsson, Fever-Tree Championships
Stefan Olsson (SWE)

Hewett was unable to capitalise on earning the first break of the opening set against Olsson and although the 20-year-old British No.1 and World No.2 battled back from 2-0 down to lead the second set, he met an in-form Olsson, with the world No.6 taking the last four games to complete a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Reid enjoyed more success in the second semi-final, breaking Houdet in the last game of the opening set. However, the Frenchman made the decisive move deep in the second set to force the decider. With Reid missing the opportunity to level the final set at 2-2, Houdet went on to seal a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory with an ace on match point.

Stephane Houdet, Fever-Tree Championships
Stephane Houdet (FRA)

Speaking after the match, Reid said: “It was quite a frustrating match for me because I felt like I started well. I played a good first set and then there were chances for me to go out of reach in the second set and I didn’t take them. I thought I was in control of the match, and most of the points were within my control but I wasn’t accurate enough to finish them off.

“I love playing on grass, and it is great to play on home turf as well – that has added an extra dimension to the matches here. There are a lot of positives to take – it is great to some matches on grass and work out what needs to be improved on as well.”

The tournament ended on a high for the British pair however and they maintained their hopes of winning the men’s doubles round robin tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Caverzaschi and Olsson to finish the doubles event with one win and won loss.

The reigning Wimbledon and US Open doubles champions showed their experience against the rookie partnership of Caverzaschi and Olsson, breaking their opponents’ serve to love on several occasions, including when closing out the first set and the match.

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, Fever-Tree Championships
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid

Both Brits were in positive mood after the match as they continue their build up to defending their Wimbledon crown, with Reid saying “It was really nice to end on a high and also a great performance. I thought we dominated the match from start to finish and produced some of our best tennis. It is great for the confidence, so all eyes on Wimbledon now.”

Partner Hewett echoed those thoughts, adding “It was good to bounce back. Yesterday was a tough doubles – there were quite a few things we wanted to work on, and I think we came on today and played the tennis we wanted to play so that was very positive.

“Next for us is the exhibition match at Eastbourne on Friday – that will be a great demonstration to showcase the sport, like we have here this week. To be given the chance once again to go to an event like that and play our sport is a great opportunity.”

Sunday’s action at the Fever-Tree Championships sees the men’s final between Olsson and Houdet on Court 1 from 11am, followed by Caverzaschi and Olsson against French duo Houdet and Nicolas Peifer. The presentation of the men’s singles trophy will take place on Centre Court ahead of Marin Čilić v. Novak Djokovic

Live coverage of both of Sunday’s wheelchair tennis matches will be provided on the Tennis Foundation website and YouTube channel, as well as the Wheelchair Tennis GB Facebook page.

Day 2 Results

Singles Semi-Final: Stefan Olsson (SWE) beat Alfie Hewett (GBR) 6-3, 6-2

Singles Semi-Final: Stephane Houdet (FRA) beat Gordon Reid (GBR)  4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Doubles: Alfie Hewett/Gordon Reid (GBR) beat Daniel Caverzaschi (ESP)/Stefan Olsson (SWE) 6-1, 6-1

Day 1 Recap

GORDON REID WINS AT QUEEN’S TO JOIN ALFIE HEWETT IN FEVER-TREE CHAMPIONSHIPS SEMI-FINALS

Gordon Reid earned the distinction of being the first winner of a men’s singles wheelchair tennis tournament match at the Fever-Tree Championships on Thursday with a hard-won 7-6(1), 7-5 victory over Nicolas Peifer of France.

Reid, the inaugural men’s singles wheelchair champion at Wimbledon in 2016, came back from 5-2 down in the opening set against world No.7 Peifer to play an exemplary tie-break.

Gordon Reid - Fever-Tree Championships
Gordon Reid

Britain’s world No. 5 gained the first break of the second set, but this time it was Peifer’s turn to recover from 5-2 down to level proceedings before Reid regained the momentum to set up a semi-final on Saturday against French second seed Stephane Houdet.

Speaking after the match Reid said: “It was an up and down match. I went 5-2 down in the first set, just getting a little bit used to the surface. Obviously we have not been on grass very long. We just got on grass yesterday so I took a bit of time to find my way into the match, but from that point onwards I was happy with the way I played.

“Tomorrow will be a good match against Stephane, a good player on grass and a guy who’s had some good results recently. It’s going to be difficult but I really enjoyed being out in front of the Queens crowd today and am looking forward to the same tomorrow.

“It’s a great atmosphere here. The Tournament is making us feel really welcome and just part of the event. It’s been great so far and hopefully a sign of exciting things to come in the future.”

There will be two Brits in Saturday’s singles semi-finals, with world No.2 Alfie Hewett set to take on Stefan Olsson of Sweden. While top seed Hewett had a bye into the last four, world No. 6 Olsson showed exactly why he is the reigning Wimbledon champion as he raced to a 6-0, 6-0 quarter-final win over Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi.

Stefan Olsson Fever-Tree Championships
Stefan Olsson

Hewett is relishing taking on Olsson on Saturday, and like Reid is enjoying being part of the Fever-Tree Championships, saying:

“Olsson is a great player, especially on grass. It really suits his game style and it’s going to be very, very tough. There is a reason he has been in the Wimbledon Final for the last couple of years but I am going to try and go out there, play with freedom and just try and take the occasion in and learn.

“I love it here. It’s something that I really enjoy when I am in this environment, especially when it is integrated with the ATP. It really feels like you’re at an event, and being in your home town people really get behind you. I do enjoy it – I’ve got a couple of days left here so I am going to try and make the most of it – it’s all going to be great preparation for Wimbledon.”

Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, Fever-Tree Championships
Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer

The historic first day of the inaugural wheelchair tennis tournament at The Queen’s Club finished in disappointment for the Brits and a winning note for French fans as Houdet and Peifer earned a 6-3, 7-5 victory over two-time Wimbledon champions Hewett and Reid in the first of two round-robin contests for both doubles partnerships.

After the match Reid said: “They are a great pair and made it very difficult for us. I felt a bit tired towards the end of the match after the singles as well, but it was good to get some match practice against those guys before Wimbledon. I still have doubles again with Alfie tomorrow so another good chance to get some preparation in for the Slam.”

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid. Fever-Tree Championships
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid

Doubles partner Hewett added “It was a close match. I think they played well. They don’t really give too much away and we made too many errors, but we had our chances and there a lot of positives we can take. It’s our first match on grass so always tough. We’ve got a lot of matches here, at Eastbourne and at Surbiton to get the team ready for Wimbledon”.

Action in the Fever-Tree Championships Wheelchair Tennis at Queens continues on Saturday, with live coverage on the Tennis Foundation’s YourTube and Facebook channels.

Day 1 Results

Singles Quarter-Final: Gordon Reid (GBR) beat Nicolas Peifer (FRA) 7-6(1), 7-5

Singles Quarter-Final: Stefan Olsson (SWE) beat Daniel Caverzaschi (ESP) 6-0, 6-0

Doubles: Stephane Houdet/Nicolas Peifer (FRA) beat Alfe Hewett/Gordon Reid (GBR) 6-3, 7-5

Preview

The full player line-up is:-

  • Alfie Hewett (GBR) – world No.2
  • Stephane Houdet (FRA)  – world No.4
  • Gordon Reid (GBR) – world No.5
  • Stefann Olsson (SWE) – world No.6
  • Nicolas Peifer (FRA) – world No.7
  • Daniel Caverzaschi (ESP) – world No. 15

Format

The men’s singles will be played as a knockout draw, while the men’s doubles will be played as a three-way round-robin event, with one doubles match on each day of competition.