“We struggled in pool play against them and it was great to beat them in the final. Thank you to the USTA [US Tennis Association] and the coaching staff for their support.”
Nick Taylor and David Wagner won their ninth quad doubles title as the 2015 UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters drew to a thrilling end on Saturday (7 November) in Mission Viejo, Southern California, USA.
Michael Jeremiasz and Gordon Reid also claimed their first men’s Doubles Masters title together and Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot clinched their second Doubles Masters women’s title on their first visit to Mission Viejo.
Taylor and Wagner came from 2-0 down to take the last three games in the opening set of the quad final against Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne, the British second seeds they had lost to in straight sets in the round-robin phase of the competition.
Burdekin and Lapthorne kept alive their hopes of a first Doubles Masters crown together when they reeled off the last four games of the second set, but from 2-2 in the final set Taylor and Wagner proved to be the stronger combination and they wrapped up their fifth title in a row 64 36 63.
“It is always great to win,” said Wagner. “We struggled in pool play against them and it was great to beat them in the final. Thank you to the USTA [US Tennis Association] and the coaching staff for their support.”
With Italy’s Alberto Corradi and Alfredo di Cosmo both making their UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters debuts, it was the all-Italian partnership of Corradi and Antonio Raffaele that finished third in the quad doubles after edging out di Cosmo and USA’s Greg Hasterok 36 64 63.
Griffioen and van Koot dethrone Kamiji and Whiley
Two-time defending women’s champion Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley made the first significant breakthrough in the women’s final to lead 3-1 and although Griffioen and van Koot hit back to share the first eight games with the top seeds , Kamiji and Whiley had three set points at 5-4 up.
However, they were unable to take their chances and Griffioen and van Koot went on to force the first set tiebreak, which ended on a double fault from Kamiji.
In six Grand Slam finals between the two partnerships over the last two years Kamiji and Whiley won five of those contests, but Griffioen and van Koot proved they were the better team in Mission Viejo and they built a commanding 5-2 second set lead.
Van Koot faltered as she attempted to serve out the match and Kamij and Whiley then pulled another game back for 5-4. But Griffioen and van Koot, this year’s Roland Garros and US Open champions, regrouped and wrapped up a victory to add to the Doubles Masters title they won on home soil in Amsterdam in 2012.
"We trained a lot on improving our game and we saw a lot of that in our game today and we’re pleased we won in straight sets,” said van Koot.
“It’s always hard to play them as they are so consistent, so it is great to get the win,” said Griffioen, who now has seven Doubles Masters titles to her name in total.
Another all-Dutch partnership, Marjolein Buis and Michaela Spaanstra, finished third after Sabine Ellerbrock and Lucy Shuker had to retire during their play-off when Ellerbrock became unwell.
Jeremiasz and Reid beat reigning champions in men’s final
The first set of the men’s final was somewhat one-sided, despite some thrilling tennis and entertaining rallies, as Wimbledon runners-up Jeremiasz and Reid dropped just the fourth game to Gerard and Houdet
However the second set was much more competitive and Jeremiasz and Reid had to wait until the seventh game before moving ahead. Thereafter they would not be denied and wrapped up a 61 64 victory for their fourth title together.
“We had a very good start this week with four victories. It was good to get our revenge after last year,” said Jeremiasz. “We had a couple of slow games at the start of the second set but we got back in to it.”
“'It is great that we can get the sport out there through the (live) broadcast,” said Reid. “Everybody that watches wheelchair tennis enjoys it. It is great to play in front of a crowd.”
Fifth in 2014, Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers of Netherlands clinched third in the men's doubles this year after beating Wimbledon champions Gustavo Fernandez and Nicolas Peifer 62 46 62.
More information can be found at the ITF’s website.