Joachim Gerard upsets world No. 2 for British Open title

The world No. 6 from Belgium took the men’s singles title from France’s world No. 2 Stephane Houdet. 22 Jul 2013
Joachim Gerard

Belgium's Joachim Gerard won the men's singles title at the 2013 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

ⒸBritish Tennis

“I played a great first set. I only played two bad games. After the second set I focused more and managed to come back. It’s an amazing feeling. I hope I can continue to take this into my future tournaments.”

World No. 6 Joachim Gerard of Belgium won the men’s singles title on Sunday (22 July) as the 24th British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, came to an end at Nottingham Tennis Centre with the fifth seed defeating world No. 2 Stephane Houdet of France, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Gerard’s first Super Series victory came the day after Lucas Sithole became the first African player to win a Super Series title when he beat American world No. 1 David Wagner 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4 in the quad singles final. Meanwhile, world No. 1 Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany won her first British Open women’s singles title with a 0-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot.

Gerard wins first Super Series title

Gerard raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set of the men’s singles final, which took place indoors after a change from the hot and sunny weather conditions that had greeted the players on the first four days of the tournament.

However, Houdet dominated much of the second as he led 5-1 en route to forcing the decider. Nevertheless, Gerard regrouped to take a 3-0 lead in the final set and maintained his advantage to secure the first Super Series singles title of his career.

“It’s amazing. I’ve played amazing all week,” said Gerard, who was playing in his second Super Series final since early June.

“I played a great first set. I only played two bad games. After the second set I focused more and managed to come back. It’s an amazing feeling. I hope I can continue to take this into my future tournaments.”

Houdet ends the British Open having won men’s doubles title after partnering Dutchman Ronald Vink to victory on Saturday’s penultimate day of play.

Griffioen, van Koot win women’s doubles

Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and van Koot claimed their third successive British Open women’s doubles title, the top seeds defeating second seeds Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane, 6-2, 7-5.

From 2-1 down Griffioen and van Koot won the last five games of the opening set as their experience as a partnership proved crucial. Buis and Montjane gained an immediate break at the start of the second set and maintained that cushion through to leading 5-3. However, Griffioen and van Koot fought back to claim four games in a row and seal another British Open title to add to the two Wimbledon titles thy have won in the last two years.

“We work well together, because we can criticise each other and complement each other, depending on how things are going, and we know each other so well, so we’re absolutely delighted to keep the title,” said van Koot.

Hunter, Wagner win quad doubles

Sarah Hunter of Canada and Wagner won the quad doubles for their third Super Series title together this season after beating Britain’s Antony Cotterill and American Greg Hasterok, the second seeds, 6-1, 6-1.

Hunter and Wagner, who claimed their first British Open title as partners, having finished as runners-up in 2010, dropped just the fourth game of the opening set. Cotterill and Hasterok won the opening game of the second set, but thereafter Hunter and Wagner controlled the remainder of the match and their loss in the 2010 British Open final remains their only defeat in eight tournaments together.

“It was different today, because the extreme heat we had earlier in the week had gone and it was quite cold. But we had a plan and stuck to it and it paid off,” said Hunter.

The all-British mixed doubles final went to Marc McCarroll and Jordanne Whiley, who beat David Phillipson and Louise Hunt, 6-2, 6-1, after building on a comfortable 5-1 first set lead and dropping just the opening game in the second set.

“It’s been a great experience to get together and play some mixed doubles and very enjoyable,” said McCarroll. “It’s been played at some other Super Series events that we’ve not been at together, so it was fantastic to get the chance this time.”