“My body was definitely tired [Friday] so I was thankful that Shingo produced a dominating performance to help us win in straight sets."
Great Britain’s Gordon Reid and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda teamed up to win their semifinal doubles match on Friday (29 January), advancing to the Australian Open finals.
The duo defeated Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Belgium’s Joachim Gerard 7-6(3) 6-2 to set up Saturday’s (30 January) showdown against Frenchmen Stephane Houdet and Nicholas Peifer.
“Obviously I’m very happy to get the win [Friday] after such a gruelling singles last night,” Reid said.
“My body was definitely tired [Friday] so I was thankful that Shingo produced a dominating performance to help us win in straight sets. The conditions were difficult with the lengthy rain delays but we kept our focus well and I can't wait to get back out on court [Saturday].”
The stage is also set for the men and women’s singles finals on Saturday. In their first-career singles Grand Slam finals, Reid and Gerard will face off for the men’s title.
“After the [NEC] Masters [in December], I played a full month amazing,” Gerard said after his semi-final win on Thursday. “I had no mistakes during my practice, physically we practised so good. Everything was perfect.”
“I’m happy, not only because of the win. It’s amazing to reach my first final in a Grand Slam, but secondly I think it’s how I played. I managed to play better in the second and third sets and do less mistakes, even though I started to stress and move a little bit less in the third set when I was leading 5-1.”
Dutchwomen Aniek Van Koot and top-seed Jisek Griffioen, who reached her second straight Australian Open women’s wheelchair singles final, will battle for the singles crown.
“We’re used to it, we do it all the time,” Griffioen said. “I’m happy it is in the final and not in one of the previous rounds because it’s not very fun to play your doubles partner before that. It’s going to be another good fight. I will have to play my best tennis.”
Van Koot and Griffioen will team up later on Saturday to face the tandem of Japan’s Yuji Kamiji and the Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis for the women’s doubles title.
The third day of round robin matches in the quad division saw Australia’s Dylan Alcott stay perfect with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over South Africa’s Lucas Sithole. Great Britain’s Andy Lapthrone defeated the USA’s David Wagner 6-2 2-6 6-4.