Weekend of wheelchair tennis firsts in Paris and London

Maiden title for Sugeno as Olsson takes inaugural Queen’s win 25 Jun 2018
a male wheelchair tennis player goes for a backhand shot

Koji Sugeno has won his maiden Super Series title at the BNP Paribas Open de France

ⒸYonathan Kellerman

Japan's Koji Sugeno added a new career landmark to his rapidly-expanding CV on Sunday (24 June) when he joined Gustavo Fernandez and Diede de Groot in claiming the Super Series singles titles at the BNP Paribas Open de France, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Exactly one week after winning his first ITF 1 Series quad singles title and one day after reaching his first career Super Series final, world No. 6 Sugeno came from a set and 3-1 down against Great Britain’s world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne to secure a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win after two hours and 25 minutes of play.

In the men’s final, Joachim Gerard aimed to win back-to-back singles titles on French soil after winning the Open de I’Ile de Re and returning to the world’s top eight.

But Argentina’s world No.3 Gustavo Fernandez proved too strong for the Belgian as he secured a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory for his first Super Series title of the year.

The 2018 women’s singles Super Series events to date have been shared equally between just two players – Diede de Groot and Yui Kamiji. It was the Dutchwoman who emerged triumphant this time.

Two weeks ago at Roland Garros, de Groot let slip her lead against Japan’s Kamiji in the final. However, she made no mistake this time and gained control midway through the second set to seal a 7-5, 6-4 victory after an hour and 29 minutes.

Stefan Olsson takes first Queen’s title

Sweden’s Stefan Olsson added his name to the history books with a masterful performance on Sunday to win the first wheelchair tennis singles final to be held at Queen’s Club, London, defeating France’s Stephane Houdet 6-1, 6-4.

Speaking after the match, Olsson said: “I am super stoked. It’s one of the coolest things ever to be honest. To be the first one in anything doesn’t happen a lot, so I am really happy that I got the first win.

“Before I came here I didn’t know what kind of shape I was in. I’ve been away a little bit this year on paternity leave with my son but as soon as I came on the grass I thought wow, yeah, I love this. For the confidence for Wimbledon I really hope I can keep on doing this.”

Runner-up Houdet added: “It’s so nice being part of this. I really hope we can have a tour with many, many ATP and WTA events like this one. If we could have wheelchair tennis at the Masters 1000 tournaments and the 500’s it would be a big change for the sport.”

Full results are available on the ITF’s website.