Houdet nets first British Open men’s title

Houdet nets first British Open men’s title

Image caption: Stephane Houdet Men's Singles Champion

Stephane Houdet of France won his first British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships men’s singles title today as Brits Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne finished runners-up in the quad doubles to American top seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

The Dutch pairing of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot claimed the women’s doubles title. In a tightly contested men’s decider, World No. 2 Houdet lost a close opening set to Belgium’s Joachim Gerard in a rematch of their 2013 British Open final, which was played indoors.

However, Houdet recovered and raced through the second against the World No. 4, then battled back from 5-3 down in the deciding set and saved a match point at 5-4 to eventually clinch a 6-7(6), 6-1, 7-6(5) victory.

“This morning when I saw the rain I was afraid to play another match at the British Open indoors. It was a dream to get outside and try to win the title outdoors,” said Houdet.

“I don’t know why, but when I woke up after Wimbledon on Monday I was thinking it was going to be mine. For the first time it was so sunny and windy. It is the first time that I thought I could really win this title.”

The quad doubles final started brightly for Burdekin and Lapthorne as they took the opening set 7-5, but three-time Paralympic quad doubles gold medallists Taylor and Wagner won the points that mattered in the second and third sets to prevail 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

“We have experience of coming through in tough matches throughout our career, we know how to pull each other up and work together as a team,” said Wagner.

“We had tough matches all the way through the tournament, it is a qualifying year for the Games and there are no easy matches ever because everyone wants to beat you, especially when you are the team on top or player on top, everyone is gunning for you and the challenge is to stay on top,” Wagner added.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t get the win today on home soil and win at our home Super Series, but we know we’re always in for a tough match with Nick and David. However, we’ve beaten them before several times and I’m sure we’ll have many more matches against them in the future,” Lapthorne said.

With rain in Nottingham early on the final day of the Super Series event, the women’s doubles final was the first match to be played and entertained the crowds on the indoor courts. Second seeds and two-time Wimbledon champions Griffioen and van Koot wasted little time in securing their latest title 6-0, 6-3.

“In doubles we have had some really good lessons over the last two weeks and we are excited about what is coming up with the US Open,” said van Koot. “After Wimbledon we were a bit tired coming into this tournament and it is a very good feeling to end with this win.”