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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Australian Open 2019: Dylan Alcott wins quad doubles title

Rio 2016 gold medallist defends crown alongside Heath Davidson 24 Jan 2019
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Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson successfuly defended the Australian Open

Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson successfuly defended the Australian Open

ⒸTakeo Tanuma
By Michael Beattie | For the ITF

Home crowd favourites Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson’s defended their Australian Open quad doubles title with a 6-3, 6-7(6), 12-10 victory over Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner on Thursday (24 January).

There was double cause for celebration for the Australian wheelchair tennis players, who also registered singles wins earlier in the day to leave Davidson one win from reaching the final, where he could play Alcott.

“I'm so proud of how Heath [Davidson] played,” said the world No.1. “They hit a lot of balls to him today, which was awesome because I didn't do much. He played so well.

“But we pride ourselves on playing till the last point. I pride myself on being level-headed the whole time. I think that really helped us. I was really proud how Heath did as well in the singles and the doubles. I think we both played incredibly well.”

Davidson, the defensive player in the all-Australian partnership, was dragged to all corners of the court by USA’s Wagner and Briton Lapthorne.

But the 31-year-old stuck to the game plan, patrolling from deep to allow Alcott to pick off the right balls.

“I was feeling good,” said Davidson, having claimed his second win after beating Lapthorne 6-1, 6-1 in singles earlier in the day.

“I was confident in myself – I wasn't confident in Dylan,” he joked. “No, my job is to set Dylan up. Dylan knows what he has to do when he goes in. I trust him 100 per cent. We're mates off court, that's why our chemistry is so good on court.”

Attention now turns to the quad singles, where a win for Davidson over Wagner would set up an all-Australian final on Australia Day (26 January) following Alcott’s 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 victory over the world No.2.

De Groot and Kamiji face in expected final

In the women’s singles, Netherlands´ top seed Diede De Groot has surged to the finals after defeating compatriot Marjolein Buis 6-3, 6-2 in the semis.

Japan´s No.2 seed Yui Kamiji denied Aniek Van Koot the chance to make it an all-Dutch affair in the final, running out to a 6-1, 6-4 win in the second semi-final.

Men’s final rematch

Stefan Olsson and Gustavo Fernandez will meet in their third Grand Slam final – and the first away from the grass courts of Wimbledon – after both came through three-set semi-finals.

The Swede, who won their two Grand Slam final showdowns at the All England Club, is bidding to claim a hattrick of victories over the Argentine.

“It’s a tough match,” admitted Olsson, who claimed a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over world No.1 Shingo Kunieda. “Gusti Fernandez, we’ve played a lot of matches. You know it’s going to be a good match, so let’s see what happens.”

In the other semi-final, Fernandez beat France’s Stephane Houdet 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.

“It was a weird day, but we’re ready for it,” said the 2017 champion after qualifying for his third Australian Open final since 2014.

“I think the heat rule is something weird – I don’t know if I totally agree with it – but it was tough conditions today. I played almost two hours in really strong heat, but we are ready for it.”

On facing Olsson in a third Grand Slam final, Fernandez added:

“It’s our first away from the grass, so we will see. I know it’s going to be a really tough match. He’s playing really good, but I also think I’m playing really good.”

Top seeds eliminated in men´s doubles

Great Britain´s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid lost 6-2, 7-5 to French-Aussie duo Stefan Houdet and Ben Weekes in the semi-finals.

The latter will now play the final against Joachim Gerard and Olsson, who beat Fernandez and Kunieda 6-2, 7-6 (4).