Andy Lapthorne reached his third Bolton Indoor quad singles final in four years on the penultimate day of this year’s event as Lapthorne’s fellow singles finalist Bryan Barten partnered Japan’s Koji Sugeno to lift the first title of 2018 at USN Bolton Indoor, in the quad doubles.
World No.2 Lapthorne, the winner in Bolton in 2016 after finishing runner-up in 2015, beat Japanese fourth seed Koji Sugeno 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in his semi-final. He faces USA third seed Barten in the final after Barten ended Preston Indoor champion Shaw’s hopes of a second singles title in successive weeks. Barten won his semi-final against unseeded Canadian Shaw 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
The quad doubles final ended with Barten winning the first of a possible two titles after partnering Sugeno to beat the USA-Canada partnership of Greg Hasterok and Shaw 6-2, 6-0.
Top seed Joachim Gerard won the ‘battle of the Belgians’ to reach the men’s doubles final. World No. 9 Gerard beat his younger countryman Jef Vandorpe 6-4, 6-3, ending 16-year-old Preston Indoor champion Vandorpe’s winning sequence of seven matches in the UK in the last two weeks.
Gerard’s bid for his first singles title of 2017 now sees him take on third seed Evans Maripa after the South African edged out unseeded Frenchman Gaetan Menguy 7-6(4), 7-5.
Gerard and Vandorpe will be on the same side of the net in the men’s doubles final as the two Belgians take on the all-Dutch partnership of Maikel Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren.
Both semi-finals saw the two sets of finalists come from a set down to win deciding match tie-breaks. Gerard and Vandorpe defeated Spain’s Martin de la Puente and Austria’s Martin Legner 3-6, 6-2, (10-3). Meanwhile, with three Dutch players in the other semi-final, top seeds Scheffers and Spaargaren earned a 4-6, 6-2, (13-11) victory over Rody de Bie and Maripa.
Saturday’s women’s singles final will end with a Dutch champion – either 2014’s inaugural Bolton Indoor winner Aniek van Koot or defending champion Marjolein Buis. Both players will be seeking to become the second player to be crowned women’s singles champion at the ITF 2 Series event.
On a day when two-time champion Jordanne Whiley visited the tournament with her three-week-old son Jackson, top seed van Koot repelled a strong challenge from Italian eight seed Giulia Capocci to prevail 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Twelve months ago Capocci threatened to upset Buis in the semi-finals before the Dutchwoman clinched a final set tie-break. This year Buis was also taken to a third and deciding set, but once again she held on and beat sixth seed Dana Mathewson 6-2 3-6 6-2.
With Shaw finishing runner-up in the quad singles and Vandorpe exiting the men’s singles, Mathewson’s loss to Buis means that there will now be no back-to-back singles titles for any of last week’s Preston Indoor champions.
With Lapthorne through to the quad singles final, hopes of British finalists also in the women’s doubles disappeared when fourth seeds Louise Hunt and Lucy Shuker lost out to second seeds Charlotte Famin and Mathewson 6-4, 6-0.
Famin and Mathewson play third seeds Michaela Spaanstra and van Koot for the title. With three Dutch players vying for a place in the final, it was the all-Dutch combination of Spaanstra and van Koot that came out on top in their semi-final against top seeds Buis and Katharina Kruger of Germany. Spaanstra and van Koot secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victory.
There was a British victory in the men’s second draw singles as wild card entry Alex Jewitt dominated the second and third sets in the final to beat Thomas Vinatier of France 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.