Griffioen, Peifer and Alcott retain Sydney titles

The Apia International was the first ITF Super Series of the year, with all 2016 singles champions successfully defending their title. 16 Jan 2017
Jiske Griffioen

Jiske Griffioen competes at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

ⒸAl Tielemans for OIS/IOC

Jiske Griffioen won her fourth Apia International women’s singles title in five years, Nicolas Peifer secured back-to-back men’s singles titles and Dylan Alcott achieved a hat-trick of quad singles titles in Sydney, Australia, on 14 January.

The wheelchair tennis event was held between 11-15 January and launched the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series. It took place in the run-up to the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, set to take place in Melbourne, from 25-28 January.

The Netherlands’ two-time Rio 2016 gold medallist Griffioen wasted little time in recording a 6-1, 6-2 victory over compatriot and world No.6 Diede de Groot, who played her second Super Series final. The world No.1 added a new title to her previous wins in Sydney in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

France’s Peifer took revenge on Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett, who had beaten him in the round of 16 at the Rio Paralympics, winning 7-5, 6-1 in the men’s singles final at the Apia International.

Hewett still rounded off a superb week, eliminating Belgium’s Rio 2016 bronze medallist Joachim Gerard in the quarter-finals and compatriot, world No.1 and Paralympic champion Gordon Reid in the semi-finals.

Home crowd’s favourite Alcott was in excellent form after teaching Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic how to play wheelchair tennis at an exhibition in Melbourne last Wednesday (11 January) , and remained unbeaten in the round robin to claim his third successive title in Sydney.

The men’s and women’s doubles finals went the way of the Rio 2016 champions. Top seeds Stephane Houdet and Peifer retained their Sydney men’s title after beating Great Britain’s Hewett and Reid 6-3, 7-6(4) in a rematch of last year’s Paralympic Games.

In the women’s event, Dutch pair Griffoen-Aniek van Koot struggled but finally managed to overtake Japan’s Yui Kamiji and Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker 1-6, 7-5, [10-6].

Johannesburg, South Africa will stage the second stop of the ITF Super Series from 10-14 April, followed by the Japan Open between 16-21 May.

The players will then fly to Europe for two events in Paris, France, from 20-25 June, and Nottingham, Great Britain, between 1-6 August. St. Louis, USA, will host the sixth and last stage of the series from 29 August-3 September.

More information can be found on the International Tennis Federation’s website.