Japanese double victory in Melbourne21.01.2019
Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji win their first titles of the year
Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji secured a Japanese double of epic proportions in the men’s and women’s singles finals at the Melbourne Open from 15-19 January.
USA’s David Wagner also enjoyed a fruitful day as he earned the quad singles title with back-to-back straight sets victories.
All three players will now be part of the 20-strong line up for the wheelchair tennis events at the Australian Open, which kicks off on Wednesday (23 January).
Kunieda wins thrilling final
The world No. 1 Kunieda secured his fourth Melbourne Open title with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-5 victory over world No. 2 Gustavo Fernandez.
The Japanese top seed earnt his third successive win over Fernandez since bowing out to the Argentinian in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last July.
Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson won the doubles title thanks to a 6-3 7-6(4) win over France’s top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Fourth title for Kamiji
It was the Japanese fourth women’s singles victory at the tournament since 2014 following a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(11) win over world No. 1 Diede de Groot after saving five match points.
Trailing 5-4 and 40-15 down in the final set, Kamiji saved a further three match points in the tie break.
The 24-year-old now goes into the Australian Open unbeaten in eight matches and two tournaments this season following her Super Series victory at the Bendigo Open a week ago.
De Groot still left with a title as she joined forces with Aniek van Koot for a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over Chinese partnership of Hui Min Huang and Zhenzhen Zhu.
USA’s world No.2 went into the last day of round-robin competition in the quad singles still mid-match in his contest against world No. 4 Koji Sugeno due to the previous day’s rain.
But he wasted little time in beating the Japanese 6-2, 6-0. Wagner then defeated Great Britain’s world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne 6-0, 7-5 for his second straight Melbourne Open title.