Britain’s Andy Lapthorne became the first two-time quad singles champion at Bolton Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament on Saturday as the ITF 2 tournament drew to a close with Belgium’s Joachim Gerard winning the men’s single title for the first time and Aniek van Koot becoming women’s singles champion at USN Bolton Arena for the second time.
World No. 2 Lapthorne, the 2015 runner-up and 2016 champion in Bolton, began the year affected by a wrist injury, but after coming through a tough three-set semi-final against Japanese fourth seed Koji Sugeno he secured the first break of the quad singles final to earn a 4-2 lead over third seed Bryan Barten of the USA and the top seed maintained his lead to take the opening set. He then reeled off the last three games of the match for a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“It’s a relief more than anything. The title’s obviously nice, it’s always good to win and get some match wins under your belt. I went to Australia hoping for the best and it didn’t work out. I didn’t really enjoy Australia because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do,” said Lapthorne.
“I’m probably at about 70 per cert this week, this it’s nice to come through some tough matches and we keep moving forward. The level of tennis I’ve shown, in bits, shows that once I’m back to full fitness I’m going to be a danger again to everyone. That’s two of the last four events I’ve played in singles now that I’ve won.”
Gerard came back from 4-1 down in the second set of the men’s singles final against South African third seed Evans Maripa to seal a 6-3, 7-5 win and seal his first singles title since claiming the 2016 NEC Masters title in London.
“I need some points, I’m world No.9 right now, so it’s a great opportunity to get some points. I’m not really happy about all the week, I have no good feelings (on court); I don’t know why, but I could win the tournament, so that’s the most important thing. It’s my first title in singles since Singles Masters in 2016, so it’s good for me, it’s good for the confidence,” said Gerard.
With the women’s singles final pitting van Koot, the winner of the inaugural Bolton Indoor title in 2014, against 2017 champion Marjolein Buis, the all-Dutch contest saw world No.3 van Koot clinch five games in a row to lead by a set and 2-0 before closing out a 6-3, 6-2 victory.
“It’s been a good week. I really wanted to play some more matches, that’s why it’s a really important tournament for me here, and it’s close to my home. I’m really happy with the results and the level I’ve played. I had some struggles but I overcame them, so I’m happy with that and with the doubles, too.” said van Koot, who, like Buis in 2017, was taken to three sets by Italy’s Giulia Capocci in the semi-finals.
Gerard came agonisingly close to adding the men’s doubles title to the men’s singles title, partnering his countryman Jef Vandorpe. However, Dutch top seeds Maikel Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren saved three match points on their way to sealing victory 4-6, 7-6(5), (11-9) after a deciding match-tie-break.
Both the men’s and women’s doubles titles went to all-Dutch partnerships as Michaela Spaanstra and van Koot beat Charlotte Famin and the USA’s Dana Mathewson 7-5, 6-3.