For the second year in a row Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Andy Lapthorne claimed the US Open men’s and quad doubles titles between them on Saturday in New York. Meanwhile, Hewett began the Brit wheelchair tennis success on the third day of play by reaching his second straight US Open men’s singles final.
Second seeds Hewett and Reid fought back from 4-2 down in the opening set of the men’s doubles final and saved set points at 6-5 down before French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer took the lead. However, Hewett and Reid built on an early 3-0 lead in the second set to force the deciding match tie-break.
After exchanging early breaks with Houdet and Peifer in the tie-break, Hewett and Reid gathered momentum to earn themselves six match points at 9-3. However, it wasn’t until their seventh match point at the end of a gruelling contest that Hewett and Reid managed to put the seal on a late-night on a 5-7, 6-3, (11-9) victory and their fifth Grand Slam doubles title together after two hours and 23 minutes.
The men’s doubles final was played under the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the US Open’s centre court, after rain arrived in New York towards the end of a busy day. However, before the rain came world No.2 Hewett had completed a 7-6(2), 6-1 victory over wold No.3 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina to earn a place in his second successive US Open men’s singles final.
“(It was a) real battle out there on court, but I couldn’t be happier to come through and make it into my second US Open singles final,” said Hewett before turning his mind to focussing on his preparations for the doubles final.
Both Hewett and Fernandez had multiple game points in a marathon ninth game, but although Fernandez won that game, 20-year-old Hewett recovered well to win the last six points of the tie-break. The British No.1 subsequently dropped just the fifth game of the second set.
Hewett plays world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan in Sunday’s final a week on from Hewett beating Kunieda in the final of the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships Super Series in St. Louis.
As the men’s doubles final got underway on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the quad doubles final was already in full swing on Louis Armstrong Stadium and Lapthorne and the USA’s David Wagner met with a tough early challenge from Australia’s Dylan Alcott and American Bryan Barten.
However, Lapthorne and Wagner started to put their opponents under more pressure in the second set and Alcott and Barten’s error count started to rise, including a double fault on set point as Lapthorne and Wagner took the second without reply.
— Andy Lapthorne (@lapstar11) September 9, 2018
Top seeds and defending champions Lapthorne and Wagner carried their momentum into the second set to earn six match points at 9-3 and they soon wrapped up their fifth Grand slam title together 3-6, 6-0, (10-4).
“It’s great to win my eighth Slam and retain the title and it’s a good way to end the week. I really enjoyed playing doubles again with David this trip and I look forward to trying to defend the title again next year,” said Lapthorne, who also won the US Open quad singles title in 2014 to add to his seven Grand Slam doubles crown.
His challenge for this year’s quad singles title depended on the outcome of Saturday’s third and last round-robin singles match against world No.2 and Rio Paralympic champion Alcott. Although Lapthorne took the second set, Alcott took the victory 6-0, 3-6, 6-0.