Kunieda, Kamiji and Alcott lift Sydney titles

In winning his fourth Sydney International Open, Kunieda extended his unbeaten run to 53 matches. 20 Jan 2015
Man in wheelchair, holding tennis racket in triumphing pose

Japan's Shingo Kunieda was crowned the 2014 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champions after beating France’s World No.7 Nicolas Peifer in the final.

ⒸJames Jordan

Japan’s Shingo Kunieda extended his unbeaten sequence on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour to 53 matches on Saturday (17 January) as he joined compatriot Yui Kamiji and Australia’s Dylan Alcott in lifting the first men’s, women’s and quad singles Super Series titles of 2015 at the Apia Sydney International Open.

Kunieda took his personal tally of men’s singles titles at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre to four as the 30-year-old world No. 1 produced a clinical performance to deny Belgian world No. 7 Joachim Gerard 6-2 6-2. Kunieda’s 26th Super Series singles title of his career meant that he completed the tournament with both the men’s singles and doubles titles, having already partnered France’s Stephane Houdet to win the doubles.

“It was not a bad match but too many mistakes compared to my opponent,” said Gerard, who had been contesting his third Super Series final.

Sydney is the fourth Super Series tournament in the last year to have Japanese men’s and women’s singles champions after world No. 1 Kamiji denied Dutch reigning champion Jiske Griffioen 6-4 2-6 7-5 in a thrilling contest.

In winning the seventh Super Series title of her career, all of which have come since 2013, Kamiji also avenged her loss to Dutch world No. 3 Griffioen in the semi-finals of the 2014 Sydney International Open.

Victory in the singles final also reversed the result of the women’s doubles decider, in which Griffioen and fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot had beaten Kamiji and Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley in three sets.

Alcott ensured the quad singles title stayed in Australia as the world No. 2 succeeded South Africa’s Lucas Sithole as the Sydney International Open champion.

Sithole won the 2014 title, with Alcott as runner-up, after the completion of a round-robin event, but this year’s quad singles came to an end with Alcott winning the final 6-2 6-4 to earn his second Super Series singles title and his sixth career title since making his debut in the quad division last January. Alcott moves on to the Melbourne Open currently unbeaten in five matches this season.

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