Van Koot, Houdet and Lapthorne Take Cajun Classic Titles

The French and Dutch delegations prevailed in the Wheelchair Tennis competition in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in USA. 26 Mar 2012
Aniek van Koot

Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands will be one to watch at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot won her third women’s singles title in Baton Rouge, regaining the crown after back-to-back victories in 2009 and 2010.

France’s Stephane Houdet and Great Britain’s Andrew Lapthorne won their first men’s main draw and quad singles titles, respectively, at the Wheelchair Tennis Cajun Classic on Sunday (25 March) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in USA.

Meanwhile, Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot won her third women’s singles title in Baton Rouge, regaining the crown after back-to-back victories in 2009 and 2010.

World No. 2 Houdet went into the men’s singles final having fought out two three-set matches against Dutch world No. 5 Ronald Vink already this season. Despite Vink having the distinction of being the first player to beat world No. 8 Michael Jeremiasz this season after his victory in Saturday’s semi-finals, the Dutchman was unable to produce his best against an in-form Houdet, who went on to clinch a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

In the all-Dutch women’s singles final, world No. 2 van Koot made a solid start as she claimed the opening set, proving why she is one of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Ones to Watch at London 2012.

However, it was world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen who gained the first breakthrough of the next set as she held serve to take a slender 4-3 lead. But, in only her first tournament of 2012 Griffioen found it difficult to maintain her form and what was arguably the rally of the match ended with Griffioen putting an attempt at a reverse smash into the net to bring up three match points for van Koot.

Griffioen then played the last stroke of the match, netting a forehand as top-seed van Koot completed a sequence of four successive games to close out a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

There was an upset in the quad singles final, as Lapthorne secured just his second career win over American world No. 2 David Wagner. Having started the week with a tough three-set match against Sweden’s world No. 7 Anders Hard, world No. 4 Lapthorne produced the best performance of his nine career head-to-heads against Wagner to seal the title with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

After Houdet’s singles victory there was more French success in the men’s main draw doubles final, as second seeds Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer defeated Dutch top seeds Robin Ammerlaan and Vink, 6-4, 6-3.

Van Koot added the women’s doubles title to her singles crown after partnering with Griffioen to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over British fourth seeds Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley. Meanwhile, top seeds and defending champions Nick Taylor and Wagner kept the quad doubles title in the USA after defeating Britons Jamie Burdekin and Lapthorne, 6-2, 6-3, in the final.