Winners at last week’s Wimbledon Championships were again at the fore on Saturday’s penultimate day of the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships as Diede de Groot of the Netherlands, Yui Kamiji of Japan, Sweden’s Stefan Olsson and David Wagner of the USA all collected titles at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
De Groot and Kamiji will now meet in Sunday’s women’s singles final, while Wagner will face Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne in the quad singles final. The men’s singles final will see Japan’s Shingo Kunieda take on Stephane Houdet of France as the fifth of six Super Series events on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour comes to an end.
A week after winning his second Wimbledon men’s singles title Olsson partnered Belgium’s Joachim Gerard to their first British Open men’s doubles title, the Wimbledon doubles finalists defeating Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Kunieda 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s amazing, first winning The Championships at Wimbledon in singles and now actually playing that kind of match with Jo in the doubles final here, it’s unbelievable. So fun,” said Olsson. “If we can keep on playing like this in the future it’s going to be really interesting. Jo got everything back today, so I guess today’s win is down to Jo. He put them under a lot of pressure and I could just come in and finish off the points.”
Olsson and Gerard’s task may have been made easier by the fact that Fernandez and Kunieda had been on court for the best part of two hours earlier in the day to complete their singles semi-final against each other. With rain having caused the match to be suspended at 5-2 in the first set on Friday evening, defending champion Fernandez managed to force a third and deciding set against world No.1 Kunieda before the top seed prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
While Kunieda will be back on court against Houdet on Sunday, so will Wagner after the world No.1 quad singles and doubles player partnered fellow American Bryan Barten to their third straight British Open quad doubles title. The top seeds got the better of a match that swung significantly one way and then the other to defeat Japan’s Shota Kawano and Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva 6-0, 4-6, 6-0.
Wagner now plays world No. 3 Lapthorne in the quad singles final in Nottingham for the second year in a row, with Lapthorne looking to end the event with a British victory.
The women’s singles final will also be a rematch of last year’s title decider as de Groot attempts to avenge her loss 12 months ago to two-time British Open champion Kamiji. It’s a week since de Groot claimed her second Wimbledon ladies’ singles title with victory over Kamiji and they then paired up to win the ladies’ double. They added another prestigious title on Saturday, beating Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and Charlotte Famin of France 6-3, 6-0 to lift their first British Open doubles title together.
Tickets for the British Open are free for spectators and can be booked via https://www.tennisfoundation.org.uk/world-class-events/britishopen/.