Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Lucy Shuker finished runners-up in each of the three Super Series finals they contested on the last day of the International Sydney Wheelchair Tennis Open.
Meanwhile, Andy Lapthorne finished runner-up in the quad singles after his victory over world No. 2 David Wagner earlier in the week.
At the end of a week in which he had already beaten world No. 1 Reid and world No. 3 Joachim Gerard of Belgium, the Rio 2016 men’s singles gold and bronze medallists respectively, sixth seed Hewett faced another of his Rio 2016 opponents, world No. 5 Nicolas Peifer of France, in the first Super Series final of his career.
However, having defeated Peifer in the last 16 in Rio, world No. 7 Hewett was unable to pull off another big win and Peifer went on to take the title 7-5, 6-1.
The men’s doubles final brought a rematch of last year’s Sydney, Wimbledon and Rio 2016 finals against French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Peifer. With Hewett and Reid having famously won the Wimbledon final before finishing as silver medallists in Rio, Houdet and Peifer narrowly had the edge in another close final again this year in Sydney and retained their title 6-3, 7-6(4).
Shuker’s first every tournament partnering Yui Kamiji of Japan looked set for a victorious end when the second seeds raced through the opening set of the women’s doubles final against Dutch top seeds and reigning Paralympic champions Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot. However, Griffioen and van Koot fought back to snatch a tight second set and went on to take the deciding match tie-break to win 1-6, 7-5, (10-6).
With world No. 3 Lapthorne having already completed his round-robin matches before the last day of quad singles competition, world No. 1 Dylan Alcott’s win over Wagner meant that Lapthorne finished second in the four-way round-robin.
Alfie Hewett recorded his first career victory over Gordon Reid in Friday’s men’s singles semi-finals at the International Sydney Wheelchair Tennis Open to reach his first Super Series singles final.
Hewett and Reid also reached Saturday’s men’s doubles final, while Lucy Shuker and Japan’s Yui Kamiji booked their place in the women’s doubles final.
Hewett narrowly took the opening set from world No. 1 Reid in their all-Brit semi-final before play was suspended for the second time in three days due to the extreme heat. World No.7 Hewett continued to impress when play resumed and eventually closed out a 7-5, 6-2 victory in a rematch of the Rio 2016 men’s singles gold medal match.
The day’s play closed with second seeds Hewett and Reid involved in another tense contest in their men’s doubles final against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands, but the Brits ultimately emerged victorious 6-4, 4-6, (10-7) after a deciding match tie-break.
Hewett and Reid will now play French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in a rematch of the Rio men’s doubles final, which ended with the Brits as silver medallists.
In the women’s doubles semi-finals Shuker and Kamiji produced a fine performance to sweep past Diede de Groot of the Netherlands and the USA’s Dana Mathewson 6-1, 6-2. Shuker and Kamiji face Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot in Saturday’s final.
Andy Lapthorne goes into the last day of play in the quad singles lying second to Australian top seed Dylan Alcott in the four-way round-robin event. After defeating world No. 2 David Wagner in his opening match of 2017 earlier in the week, Lapthorne was edged out by world No.1 Alcott 6-3, 6-4 in his second match on Friday and has been awarded a walkover against Alcott’s compatriot Heath Davidson, so has therefore finished competing. Alcott and Wagner contest the last quad singles match on Saturday.
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid set up an all-Brit men’s singles semi-final on the second day of play at the International Sydney Wheelchair Tennis Open as Andy Lapthorne joined Hewett in upsetting higher ranked opposition in his opening quad singles match. Hewett and Reid also advanced to the men’s doubles semi-finals.
Sixth seed Hewett bounced back from a slow start to his quarter-final against third seed Joachim Gerard, the player Hewett beat in the Rio 2016 men’s singles semi-finals. Hewett led Gerard 1-0 in the third and deciding set before the Belgian had to retire, setting up the al-Bit semi-final after world No.1 eased past Takuya Miki of Japan 6-1, 6-1.
The men’s singles semi-final in Sydney will be the first time Reid and Hewett have met in competition since the Rio 2016 gold medal match. Later in the day Hewett and Reid paired up to also reach the men’s doubles semi-finals after defeating Australian quad players Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson 6-1, 6-1. Second seeds Hewett and Reid play third seeds Gustavo Fernandez and Maikel Scheffers for a place in the final.
World No.3 Lapthorne opened his 2017 season with a fine 6-2, 6-3 victory over world No.2 David Wagner in their first quad singles round-robin match. Lapthorne now faces world No.1 Alcott on Thursday in a rematch of their Rio 16 quad singles gold medal match.
Lapthorne and Wagner’s preparations for the Australian Open quad doubles later this month also meant they lined up in the men’s doubles in Sydney, but ultimately bowed out to Fernandez and Scheffers 6-0, 6-1.
The women’s singles quarter-finals saw Lucy Shuker come agonisingly close to upsetting Dutch world No. 6 Diede de Groot before de Groot eventually advanced 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3). Shuker now lines up in the women’s doubles semi-finals on Friday alongside Japan’s Yui Kamiji.
Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett booked their places in the men’s singles quarter-finals and Lucy Shuker reached the women’s singles quarter-finals as the Brit challenge got underway at the International Sydney Wheelchair Tennis Open on Wednesday.
Top seed Reid raced to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Australian Ben Weekes in his first match of 2017, while sixth seed Hewett secured his passage to the last eight without dropping a single game as he defeated Daisuke Arai of Japan 6-0, 6-0.
World No.1 Reid and Hewett could yet meet in the semi-finals if Reid comes though his quarter-final against Japan’s Takuya Miki and Hewett can now overcome Belgian third seed Joachim Gerard.
After high temperatures caused a five hour break in the action in Sydney, world No.8 Shuker earned a fine start to her season as she dominated the final set of her women’s contest against German world No.9 Katharina Kruger to advance 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. Shuker will play Dutch fourth seed Diede de Groot for a place in the semi-finals.
Andy Lapthorne begins his quad singles round-robin on Thursday with a contest against word No.2 David Wagner, with Lapthorne and Wagner also pairing up to contest the men’s doubles in Sydney as they prepare for the quad doubles at the Australian Open. Hewett and Reid are also scheduled to begin their men’s doubles challenge on Thursday, while Shuker and Japan’s Yui Kamiji have a bye into the women’s doubles semis.
Four Brits begin the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in Australia, with Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne lining up for this week’s Apia International Sydney Wheelchair Tennis Open, the very first world ranking event of the new season.
It’s the first of three tournaments for the quartet of Brits in Australia this month, culminating in the Australian Open at the end of January.
Not only is Sydney the first world ranking event of the season it is also the first of the year’s six Super Series tournaments. Reid arrives in Sydney for his first tournament since being made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. The 2016 year-end world No.1 has a first round bye in the men’s singles before playing either Australia’s Ben Weekes or Haruya Mizukoshi of Japan as he starts his attempt to go one better than his runners-up spot in Sydney last year.
Sixth seed Hewett faces Japanese opposition in his opening men’s singles match when he takes on Daisuke Arai.
World No.8 Shuker faces German world No.9 Katharina Kruger in her opening women’s singles match, with the Brit setting out in her quest for back-to-back Super Series titles, having won the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships in September last year.
Year-end world No. 1 in quad doubles for 2016, Andy Lapthorne contests a four-way round-robin quad singles event in Sydney with Australians Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson and the USA’s David Wagner. These are the same three players Lapthorne will also play in the same format at the Australian Open later this month.