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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Shingo Kunieda wins Sydney Super Series

Japan’s 20-time Grand Slam champion claims first title of the season 15 Jan 2018
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a male wheelchair tennis player holds up his racket

Shingo Kunieda won the Sydney Series to claim the first ITF title of 2017

ⒸGetty Images
By ITF

Shingo Kunieda seems to be back on top form after struggling with injuries during the last couple of years as he won the Sydney International Wheelchair Tennis Open, the first event of the year, on 13 January.

It was the Japanese’s first Super Series title since June 2015 and the fifth one in the Australian city. The seven-time ITF World Champion and 20-time Grand Slam winner beat Great Britain’s world No.2 Alfie Hewett 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Kunieda had also beaten Argentina’s world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez in the quarter-finals, showing he will once again be a force to be reckoned with in the circuit.

Hewett finished runner-up in Sydney for the second straight year and his quest for a first Super Series singles title continues.

France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer defeated the British couple of Gordon Reid and Hewett 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the doubles title.

Japan also celebrated the title in the women’s single event as world No.1 Yui Kamiji emerged triumphant 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 against world No.5 Aniek van Koot in the final at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

“It’s been a very good week here in Sydney – today (13 January) was difficult conditions to play in for both myself and Aniek,” said Kamiji. “I thought a lot on the match of how I could get the point but I am still trying to get better for next week and the Australian Open.”

Kamiji claimed her 19th win over her Dutch opponent in 34 head-to-heads and six years on from their first career meeting at the Sydney International in 2012.

The Japanese left with two titles as she also won the women’s doubles alongside Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker after beating the Dutch pair of van Koot and Diede de Groot in the final 6-4, 6-3.

With the tournament celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Dylan Alcott once again provided a home victory in the quad singles as the world No. 3 came back from 4-1 down in the final set to wrap-up his fourth successive title in Sydney, beating USA’s world No. 1 David Wagner 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

He also partnered compatriot Heath Davidson to claim the quad doubles title.

Full story is available on the ITF’s website.