Kunieda, Kamiji and Alcott lift British Open titles

Shingo Kunieda won his fifth British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships men’s singles titles as the fifth Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour drew to a close on Sunday in Nottingham with the event having its first Japanese men’s and women’s singles champions in its 25-year history.

Yui Kamiji claimed the women’s singles title on the penultimate day of play to make it a highly successful tournament for Japan’s two world No. 1 ranked players, while Australia’s Dylan Alcott claimed his first quad singles Super Series title.  

Kunieda beat world No. 3 ranked Brit Gordon Reid in the men’s final for the second time since 2012. The top seed commanded the opening set and although Reid came from 5-1 down to have a game point that would have made it 5-4 in the second set, Kunieda held on to add to his previous titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012 with a 61 63 triumph.

“I’m very happy to win here for the fifth time. I served well today and returned well and I felt like I could control everything, so it was a very good match for me,” said Kunieda.

Reid had been chasing his second Super Series title of the year after beating Kunieda in the semifinals of the Sydney International in January before going on to win that title.

“It’s a dream to win my home Super Series, but Shingo’s been the best payer all week and he was the better player today, so congratulations to him, he played a great match,” said Reid.

There was British success on the final day as Jamie Burdekin partnered the USA’s world No.1 David Wagner to win the quad doubles title with a 60 61 victory over Australia’s quad singles champion Alcott and 2013 quad singles champion Lucas Sithole of South Africa.

“It is always important to do well here. This is our backyard, I have family down here supporting me and this is one of the tournaments we all really want to do well at as a Tennis Foundation organised event," said Burdekin after he and Wagner dropped just the first game of the second set to give the Brit his second Super Series doubles title after victory at the Japan Open in 2012.

"David is a great player and I’ve always respected his game, especially his doubles, as a three-time Paralympic doubles gold medallist, so I was proud to be on court with him,” added Burdekin.

Alcott beat Britain’s world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne 75 61 in Saturday’s quad singles final, after ending Sithole’s title defence in the semifinals, with Lapthorne also beating Wagner in the last four to reach his first British Open title.

With Saturday’s women’s singles final having featured the world’s top two ranked players, Kamiji defeated Aniek van Koot 63 26 64 as the Dutchwoman finished runner-up at the British Open for the second successive year.

However, Kamiji and van Koot were on the same side of the next for Sunday’s women’s doubles final and edged past Britain’s London 2012 bronze medallists Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley 75 64, with Kamiji ending the tournament as both women’s singles and women’s doubles champion.

Top seeds Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands lifted the men’s doubles title after recovering from a set down to overcome Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Nicolas Peifer of France 26 63 61.

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