In a rematch of the 2018 men’s singles final, world No. 2 Shingo Kunieda and world No. 5 Alfie Hewett will meet in Friday’s first round of this year’s US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, while world No. 2 Yui Kamiji will face world No. 3 Aniek van Koot for a place in the women’s singles semi-finals in New York.
Meanwhile, as has become the tradition in recent years, men’s and women’s doubles gets the wheelchair tennis action underway on Thursday alongside the start of the quad singles round-robin. Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest of all stages at Flushing Meadows, welcomes three Grand Slam-winning partnerships for two doubles semi-finals.
Kunieda to play Hewett and Fernandez to face Olsson
Kunieda and Hewett will go head-to-head in their second Grand Slam quarter final of the season as Hewett opens his title defence and Kunieda looks to repeat his victory over the Briton in their opening match at the Australian Open in January.
Kunieda and Hewett are in the same half of the men’s singles draw as Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and world No. 8 Nicolas Peifer, who has received the men’s wild card for the US Open for the second year in a row.
World No. 1 Gustavo Fernandez opens his bid to become the first men’s wheelchair player to complete the calendar year Grand Slam with a quarter final against Stefan Olsson, the player he met in the 2017 and 2018 Wimbledon finals and this year’s Australian Open final.
Meanwhile, two-time US Open champion Stephane Houdet will play this year’s Roland Garros runner-up Gordon Reid.
Van Koot to meet Kamiji in women’s quarter finals
Wimbledon champion Aniek Van Koot opens her bid for back-to-back Grand Slam titles with her 47th career meeting against current world No. 2 Yui Kamiji.
World No. 3 Van Koot and Kamiji are two of the three past US Open champions in this year’s women’s field, Van Koot having been victorious in New York in 2013 before Kamiji won the first of her two US Open titles in 2014.
Former Roland Garros champion Marolein Buis and Italy’s Giulia Capocci will meet in the other quarter final in the bottom half of the women’s singles draw as Capocci contests her first US Open on the back of also having made her debuts at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year.
World No. 1 Diede de Groot begins her US Open title defence against world No. 7 Sabine Ellerbrock, while Kgothatso Montjane starts her fifth US Open against USA’s Dana Mathewson. Mathewson, women’s singles bronze medallist at last week’s Parapan American Games, contests her third US Open.
Wagner to play Lapthorne as quad singles begins
With the debut of quad singles events at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this season having involved semi-final knockout matches, the traditional US Open format of three days of round-robin matches to decide the finalists returns in New York. The first two matches are scheduled to close play on Courts 5 and 17 on Thursday.
World No. 2 David Wagner and world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne met in the quad singles semi-finals at Wimbledon and they go head-to-head in their first round-robin match at Flushing Meadows on Thursday with Wagner aiming to avenge his loss on the grass courts in London.
That means that Dylan Alcott begins his own bid to complete the calendar year Grand Slam with a contest against wild card entrant Bryan Barten.
Barten is the only one of the four players not to have won a US Open singles crown, Wagner having won in New York in 2010, 2011 and 2017, Lapthorne having won his only Grand Slam singles crown to date in 2014 and Alcott having won the 2015 and 2018 titles.
Fernandez-Kunieda and Gerard-Olsson to meet in semis
De Groot and Van Koot open proceedings on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday as the Dutch top seeds begin their quest to complete the calendar year Grand Slam in women’s doubles with a semi-final against Capocci and Kamiji.
While Capocci reached her first Grand Slam final in women’s doubles at Wimbledon, the Italian and her Japanese partner will aim to upset the odds and make their first Grand Slam final as a partnership.
Ellerbrock and Montjane face Buis and Mathewson in the other women’s doubles semi.
Such has become the regularity with which the world’s current top eight men’s players contest the Grand Slams that all four partnerships in the men’s doubles are previous Grand Slam champions.
Fernandez and Kunieda, who won their first Grand Slam doubles title together at Roland Garros, play reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champions Gerard and Olsson in Thursday’s second wheelchair doubles semi-final on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Meanwhile, Court 17 will see last year’s US Open men’s doubles finalists go head-to-head as Hewett and Reid begin their campaign to try and make it a hat-trick of titles in New York with a semi-final against Houdet and Peifer.