US Open 2018: Diede de Groot edges closer to title

Dutch player faces Japan’s Yui Kamiji in Grand Slam final 09 Sep 2018
two female wheelchair tennis players shake hands over the net

Kamiji (L) and de Groot are set to battle it out

ⒸGettty Images

Diede De Groot moved one step closer to her first US Open women’s wheelchair singles title on Saturday (8 September), crushing Sabine Ellerbrook of Germany 6-0 6-3 in the semi-finals.

The top-seeded Dutch player will take on Japan’s second-seeded Yui Kamiji, a 6-1 6-0 winner over South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane, in a bid for her fourth Grand Slam tournament championship.

Although just 21-years-old, De Groot already has won three major titles: the last two Wimbledons and January’s Australian Open. She was a finalist at Roland Garros.

“I played really well in the first set,” de Groot said. “In the second set she calmed down and played better.”

De Groot’s US Open success didn’t stop at singles. She teamed with Kamiji to capture the women’s doubles title, beating two Dutch players, Marjolein Buis and Aniek Van Koot, 6-3 6-4.

The top two seeded men, Shingo Kuneida of Japan and Alfie Hewett of Great Britain, respectively, will face each other on Sunday for the men’s singles title. Kuneida defeated Nicolas Peifer of France 2-6 6-4 7-5, while Hewett had a much easier time of it, downing Argentina’s, Gustavo Fernandez 7-6 6-1.

For the second straight day rain interrupted play and pushed two of the three wheelchair doubles finals scheduled for Saturday onto the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, which has a roof. Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and American David Wagner won the quad wheelchair doubles title, coming from a set down to secure victory over Australian Dylan Alcott and American Bryan Barten 3-6 6-0 (10-4).

In the third round of the quad singles, Alcott defeated Lapthorne 6-0 3-6 6-0 and Wagner beat Barten 6-0 6-1. Undefeated after the round-robin phase of the competition, world No. 2 Alcott will now play world No. 1 and defending champion Wagner, whose only loss in the round-robin was to Alcott, in Sunday’s final.

In the final match of the night, which was redirected from Louis Armstrong to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Hewett and fellow Brit Gordon Reid rallied to capture the men’s doubles championship, defeating Frenchmen Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer 5-7 6-3 (11-9). The winners led 9-6 in the match tiebreak before Houdet and Peifer rallied and won three straight points to knot it at 9. But Hewett and Reid then took the next two points to grab the title.