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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Joachim Gerard makes it four Masters titles

Diede de Groot and David Wagner also collect singles titles at year-end competition 28 Nov 2019
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Belgian wheelchair tennis Joachim Gerard hits a forehand
Joachim Gerard won his fourth Masters title in five years
ⒸGetty Images
By ITF

Belgian Joachim Gerard made it four NEC Masters wheelchair tennis men’s singles titles in five years as he retained his crown in Orlando, USA, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 2017 champion Alfie Hewett.

Only the Brit has prevented Gerard from a clean sweep of Masters titles since 2015, beating him in the 2017 semi-finals before going on to become the youngest winner of the title.

“I think it was a very good week for me and a very good level. Not all the time, but if I manage to stay calm, like I did today, I can win the tough matches,” said Gerard. 

“Alfie was not at his best today, but I showed that my mental strength is there, and I have to continue like this and work on it every day.

“It’s my only title in singles this year, but we came here just to play my tennis and see if it works. We have worked hard at home in the last three months and we wanted to see how it’s going on. I just want to enjoy the game that I play and see the results as we look to next year.”

DE GROOT COMPLETES HAT-TRICK AGAINST KAMIJI

World No. 1 Diede de Groot took her third Masters women’s singles titles as she beat world No.2 Yui Kamiji in the final 6-2 6-3.

A day after winning her first Doubles Masters title partnering her countrywoman Aniek van Koot, De Groot continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s singles roll of honour.

Kamiji remains the only non-Dutch player to have won the women’s title after her victory in Mission Viejo, USA, in 2013. 

“I definitely felt the pressure of getting the game at 3-1 in the first set. I think we both did,” said De Groot referring to a game that involved the best past of 20 deuces. “I was a bit nervous and sometimes there were good points and sometimes not.

“The score was 6-3, 6-2 but that’s not how it felt. it felt much tougher than that. I knew that I had to stay on top and stay confident.”

WAGNER CLAIMS 11TH QUAD TITLE

Experience triumphed over youth as world No. 3 David Wagner earned his 11th Masters quad singles title since 2005, beating 16-year-old Niels Vink 6-3 6-4 to end any prospect of the Dutchman becoming the youngest ever champion.

“It’s awesome to get it at home. It was not expected. I came here to do the best I could and that was alright. I’m just happy to play and complete and get the opportunity to go for another one,” said Wagner after winning his first title since having hernia surgery shortly after Wimbledon.

“I feel like there’s always room for more improvement, so I’m going to keep working on that, but it certainly feels good to get this one after the hernia surgery. It’s always a good way to end the year at a tough even with strong players like this.”