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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Stefan Olsson wins Bath Indoor

Giulia Capocci and Sam Schroder also take wheelchair tennis titles 12 Nov 2018
male wheelchair tennis player Stefan Olsson smiling and holding a crystal trophy

Stefan Olsson celebrates his maiden Bath Indoor singles title

ⒸTennis Foundation

“I’ve been playing really well all week and I’ve just had a blast. I stuck with it today and kept fighting and that made the big difference because I was down in all three sets.”

Two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson edged out former world No.1 Stephane Houdet in a thrilling final to win his first Bath Indoor singles crown on Saturday (10 November) in Bath, Great Britain. The Swedish wheelchair tennis player won 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7) after almost three hours of play in a mammoth match.

“I’ve been playing really well all week and I’ve just had a blast. I stuck with it today and kept fighting and that made the big difference because I was down in all three sets,” he said.

“He’s (Houdet) really smart out there. I really have to try and out-think him, which is not the easiest part to do. I changed up a little bit from the second set and it worked really well.

“I had a little bit of a bad start in the third, but I just kept on fighting really hard and got it back. I was down a couple of match points, so I’m super happy with the win.”

Olsson left Bath with a brace of titles after partnering Joachim Gerard to complete a hat-trick of men’s doubles crowns. They beat top seeds Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Houdet of France 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Classy Capocci

The Italian secured a 6-3, 6-2 victory over South African top seed Kgothatso Montjane to celebrate on British soil.

“I’ve played very well this week. I love to win, of course, but it’s more difficult to win a tournament when it’s your first time here, but I’ve loved it (in Bath) this week,” said Capocci.

“Next year I hope to make it to the top three in the rankings and I feel my level of play is progressing that way.”

The women’s doubles title went to top seeds Marjolein Buis of Netherlands and Manami Tanaka of Japan.

Memorable week for Schroder

Victory in the quad singles final capped an outstanding week for the 19-year-old Dutch player.

After arriving in Bath without a seeding, the former world No. 6 completed the tournament having beaten the top three seeds, the highlight arguably being his first career victory over world No. 1 David Wagner in Friday’s semi-finals.

However, there was more to come with Schroder defeating second seed Lucas Sithole 6-3, 6-2 in the final for the first ITF 1 title of his career.

“It was a very difficult draw for me. I’ve played all three top seeds this week, so I can’t really believe I’ve managed it. Especially after winning the semi-final against the world No.1,” he said.

“It’s been an incredible tournament for me after all that happened last year (with his health) and then being able to win my first ITF 1 already. It’s just crazy,” said Schroder, who had to take the best part of ten months out of competition on medical grounds before making his comeback in July this year.

Schroder’s win in Saturday’s final ended Sithole’s hopes of leaving Bath with both the quad singles and doubles titles. The South African had claimed the latter in partnership with compatriot Donald Ramphadi.