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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Favourites thwarted in US Open wheelchair singles events

Two men who sought history-making Grand Slams in wheelchair tennis were thwarted at the U.S. Open this weekend.

By: New York Times |
September 9, 2019 3:40:03 pm
Diede De Groot, of the Netherlands reacts after defeating Yiu Kamjil of Japan in the wheelchair women’s singles final . (Source: AP)

Two men who sought history-making Grand Slams in wheelchair tennis were thwarted at the U.S. Open this weekend.

Gustavo Fernandez, an Argentine who won the first three Grand Slam events this year in wheelchair men’s singles, lost in the semifinals Saturday to Stéphane Houdet, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Houdet lost the final on Sunday to Alfie Hewett, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5). Hewett’s win added to a dominant weekend for British men in the wheelchair competitions. He partnered with Gordon Reid of Scotland to win the wheelchair men’s doubles final over Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda, 1-6, 6-4, 11-9.

In the quad division final on Sunday, Andy Lapthorne of Britain ended Dylan Alcott’s bid for a Grand Slam with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing.

“Today was a big day to manage to beat Dylan,” Lapthorne said. “He’s a great player. He’s been unbeaten for a long time. It was a massive achievement.”

Alcott, an Australian who has dominated the division in recent years, attributed the lopsided loss to being “flat” and rushing toward the relief of the feat being over.

Hours later, Lapthorne and Alcott teamed up to win the quad doubles final, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 10-6, over David Wagner and Bryan Barten, giving Alcott a Grand Slam in doubles with two different partners.

In the doubles trophy ceremony, Alcott said there was only one way to commemorate his mixed day: “Let’s go drink a million beers.”

The women’s wheelchair singles was won by Diede de Groot, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, over Yui Kamiji. The top-ranked De Groot also won the doubles with her fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot, 6-2, 6-0, over Sabine Ellerbrock and Kgothatso Montjane.

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