Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Good vibrations for the Japan wheelchair tennis stars Kunieda and Kamiji

Home stars one step away from a gold medal 02 Sep 2021
Kunieda grimaces in a close-up shot of his head and shoulders
Feeling the pain
ⒸOIS/Joel Marklund

Top seed Shingo Kunieda kept the good Japanese vibrations going in the Ariake Tennis Park on Thursday (September 2), brushing aside Rio 2016 champion Gordon Reid of Great Britain in the men's singles.

Reid and partner Alfie Hewett had defeated Kunieda and Takashi Sanada in the men's doubles semi-final on Tuesday, but this time it was the Japanese player who held the upper hand.  

Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Kunieda will contest the men's singles final against Tom Egberink of Netherlands, who beat No2 seed Hewett in straight sets in the other semi-final.

"Doesn’t matter who I’ll face in the finals. If I can do what I do, I’ll be content whether I win or lose. No, I’ll win," a laughing Kunieda told the Olympic Information Service.

"I’m in great condition. I just need to focus on every point."

Yui Kamiji serves at the back of the court

In the women's singles, Yui Kamiji of Japan fought back against the Netherlands’ dominance at  the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, defeating Aniek van Koot in a rare setback for the Dutch women who had hoped to claim both spots in the final.

"We always face each other in the tours, but in terms of the Paralympics Aniek was the one player I couldn’t get past," said Kamiji, who lost to Van Koot at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

"I could have played better today, but I’m happy I was able to win against her."

The Paralympic torch bearer and No 2 seed will face another Dutch player, top seed Diede de Groot in a rematch of the Rio 2016 bronze medal game won by Kamiji.

"I was fortunate to come away with bronze in Rio, but we were both disappointed with our semi-final losses," Kamiji said. "She has really improved as a player since. I’m thrilled and happy to be facing her tomorrow. I have no intention of losing."

Kamiji and De Groot have faced each other six times this year, with De Groot winning all their matches except one.

It will be Kamiji's third encounter with players from the Netherlands at Tokyo 2020, as the 27-year-old, alongside partner Momoko Ohtani, lost to De Groot/Can Koot in the women's doubles semi-final.

The Dutch duo will go for gold against Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley, who beat Wang Ziying and Zhu Zhenzhen  6-4, 6-2 in the other semi-final.