All of the pre-tournament favourites made the perfect winning start on the opening day (5 November) of the 2014 UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo, California, USA.
The USA’s seven–time quad Wheelchair Doubles Masters champions Nick Taylor and David Wagner made a winning start in their quest for an eighth title as they beat Great British duo Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne in three sets (7-6, 2-6, 6-3).
Both partnerships could yet go head-to-head again this week as the top two combinations at the end of the round-robin matches go forward to Saturday’s final.
Taylor and Wagner will now face Great Britain’s Antony Cotterill and the USA’s Greg Hasterok, after they started their campaign with a two-set victory over the pairing of USA’s David Buck and Italy’s Antonio Raffaele.
Thursday (06 November), will see the favourites in the men’s competition trade blows with Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and France’s Stephane Houdet set to meet Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and South Africa’s Evans Maripa.
No.1 seeds Houdet and Gerard stretched their unbeaten record to 12 matches in their opening Pool 1 contest when they defeated the Netherlands’ Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers, both former Doubles Masters champions with different partners.
Japan Open champions Kunieda and Maripa beat Brazil’s Doubles Masters debutants Rafael Medeiros and Daniel Rodrigues in straight sets to extend their unbeaten record as a partnership to five matches.
Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and France’s Nicolas Peifer dominated their opening men’s Pool 2 contest, recording a straight sets win over the USA’s Steve Baldwin and Stephen Welch.
France’s Michael Jeremiasz and Great Britain’s Gordon Reid also opened their campaign with a comfortable victory over Great British partners Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson.
Jeremiasz and Reid play Fernandez and Peifer next to decide which pairing will remain unbeaten heading into Friday’s (7 November) third and last day of round-robin matches.
The top two seeded partnerships in the women’s doubles were untroubled in their first pool matches, as defending champions, Japan’s Yui Kamiji and Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley, started their title defence by beating USA’s Emmy Kaiser and Colombia’s Johana Martinez.
The Japanese-British pairing, winners of all four Grand Slam titles in 2014, face the Netherlands’ duo Marjolein Buis and Michaela Spaanstra in their second Pool 1 contest.
In pool 2, Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker and Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock beat Chile’s Francisca Mardones and the USA’s Kaitlyn Verfuerth. They will face Great Britain’s Louise Hunt and Germany’s Katharina Kruger in their next game.
For more information, visit the ITF website.