Gordon Reid nets first Japan Open Super Series title to cement return to No. 1
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Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett, Lucy Shuker, Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill all lined up in Iizuka to contest the 2017 Japan Open Super Series.
Gordon Reid made history on Sunday, becoming the first Brit to win the Japan Open Super Series men's singles title in Iizuka, thereby cementing his return to world No. 1 in the wheelchair tennis rankings.
Second seed Reid beat world No. 5 Nicolas Peifer 7-6(3), 6-1 to win the second Super Series singles title of his career. It was Reid's second time in the final in Iizuka. He was also runner-up in 2015 after winning his first Super Series singles title in Sydney in 2014.
Reid went into the final already assured of returning to world No. 1 in the men's singles rankings. His own semi-final victory and defending champion and top seed Stephane's Houdet's loss to Peifer in the other semi-final meant the 30 point gap between Reid an Houdet at the start of the week will be overturned when the new rankings are published.
“I’m very happy to be coming home with the title and regaining my place at the top of the singles rankings,” said Reid.
“This is my first Japan Open title and only my second Super Series title, so it’s one I am very proud of. I felt I improved my level throughout the week and produced my best tennis at the important points in the final to clinch the match.
“My performances in Japan have given me a good confidence boost looking ahead to the summer Grand Slams.”
Gordon Reid earned his place in his second Japan Open men’s singles final on Saturday with a three-set win over Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez.
Second seed Reid will therefore aim to bring the Brit challenge to a victorious end on Sunday in Iizuka. He will play world No. 5 Nicolas Peifer of France for the title after finishing runner-up in the men’s doubles with Alfie Hewett.
Reid defeated world No. 4 Fernandez 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 for his second win in successive days over a former Japan Open champion. Runner-up in Japan in 2015, he will now bid to win the second Super Series singles title of his career.
With Hewett and Reid having already earned Super Series doubles success together at the SA Open last month, they were unable to repeat their victory in the final in Johannesburg. In their third Super Series final of 2017 against top seeds Stephane Houdet and Peifer, the French duo won 7-6(2), 6-3.
Lucy Shuker and her Dutch partner Aniek van Koot were also runners-up in the women’s doubles as Japan’s Yui Kamiji and the Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis won their final 6-1, 6-1.
Brits will contest two doubles finals on Saturday at the Japan Open Super Series in Iizuka. Gordon Reid will also continues his quest to add a British name to the singles roll of honour.
Reid moved a step closer to the men’s singles final with a 6-2, 6-1 quarter-final victory over the Netherlands’ former Japan Open champion Maikel Scheffers. However, hopes of an all-British final against Alfie Hewett slipped away as Hewett lost out to world No.5 Nicolas Peifer of France 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter-final.
World No.2 Reid now plays another former champion, Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, in Saturday’s men’s singles semi-final. Meanwhile ,Reid and Alfie Hewett also bid to go one better than last year as they line up in the men’s doubles final.
Second seeds Hewett and Reid will face French opposition once again in the final when they take on top seeds Stephane Houdet and Peifer. The Brits beat Fernandez and Scheffers 6-0, 6-2 in the semi-finals.
Lucy Shuker and Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands earned a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 women’s doubles semi-final victory over Dutchwomen Diede de Groot and Kgothatso Montane of the Netherlands. Top seeds Shuker and van Koot will play second seeds Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and Yui Kamiji of Japan for the title.
Shuker will hope to reverse the outcome of her women’s singles semi-final against Kamiji, which the defending champion and top seed won 6-3, 6-1.
Brit hopes in the quad singles and doubles also came to an end. Andy Lapthorne was unable to sustain his momentum from a set and a break up against Australian world No.1 Dylan Alcott in their singles semi-final. Paralympic champion Alcott went on to reach the final 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne also went to a deciding set with Paralympic champions Alcott and Heath Davidson in their quad doubles semi-final. However, Alcott and Davidson eventually edged though 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4.
Andy Lapthorne booked his place in the quad singles semi-finals and Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett and Lucy Shuker all secured their places in the quarter-finals of the men’s or women’s singles on Thursday. All five Brits in Iizuka are also into their respective doubles semi-finals.
Third seed Lapthorne plays Australia’s defending Dylan Alcott for a place in the quad singles final. The world No.3 finished strongly to win his quarter-final against Mitsuteru Moroishi 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Antony Cotterill bowed out to American world No. 2 David Wagner, but later partnered Lapthorne to reach the quad singles semi-finals.
The top seeds beat Hiroshi Toma and Kei Usami of Japan 6-2, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Rio Paralympic gold medallists Alcott and Heath Davison.
Hewett’s bid to reach his second men’s singles Super Series final of 2017 will see him play Nicolas Peifer of France in the last eight. World No.7 Hewett raced past Thailand’s Banjob Suwan 6-1, 6-0 in his second round match. World No. 2 Reid defeated former Japan Open champion Satoshi Saida of Japan 6-2, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final against Dutch seventh seed Maikel Scheffers.
Hewett and Reid also had Saida on the other side of the net in the men’s doubles quarter-finals. The Brits beat Saida and Kouhei Suzuki 7-5, 6-1. They will now play third seeds Gustavo Fernandez and Scheffers in their bid to reach the final for the second successive year
Shuker’s wait for her first women’s singles match came to an end with the sixth seed defeating Emi Suda 6-1, 6-0. Shuker next plays another Japanese opponent, top seed and defending champion Yui Kamiji.
Meanwhile, Shuker and her Dutch partner Aniek van Koot swept past South Korea’s Ju-Youn Park and Japan’s Manami Tanaka 6-2, 6-0 in their opening women’s doubles match of the week. The top seeds will play the Dutch-South African partnership of Diede de Groot and Kgothatson Montjane in their bid to reach the final.
Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill booked their places in the quad singles quarter-finals as three more Brits opened their Japan Open challenges on Wednesday.
Alfie Hewett also joined Gordon Reid in the second round of the men’s singles before the two combined to reach the men's doubles quarter-finals.
Lapthorne will play Japan’s Mitsuteru Mosroishi for a place in the quad singles semi-finals. The world No. 3 beat former Japan Open finalist Tzu-Hsuan Huang of Chinese Taipei 6-1, 6-1 in his opening match.
Antony Cotterill had a somewhat tougher time against Japan’s Keiji Kondo, but held on to win 2-6, 6-3 6-3, thereby earning a quarter-final against world No. 2 David Wagner of the USA.
Men's singles sixth seed Hewett beat South Korea’s Ho Won Im 6-4, 6-4 in order to set up a match against Thailand’s Banjob Suwan for a place in the last eight of the men’s singles.
Hewett and Reid also began their bid to reach a second successive Japan Open men's doubles final. The second seeds secured a 6-0, 6-0 win over Daisuke Arai and Yoshiji Miyagi. That sets up a quarter-final against a second Japanese partnership, Satoshi Saida and Kouhei Suzuki.
Lucy Shuker makes her Japan Open bow on Thursday in both the women’s singles and doubles.
Second seed Reid was the only one of the five Brits in action on the opening day of play, defeating Thailand's Suthi Khlongrua 6-2, 6-1. Reid therefore moves on to a second round contest against Japan's Satoshi Saida for a place in the men's singles quarter-finals.
Sixth seed Hewett is drawn in the opposite half of the men's draw to Reid. He plays Korea's Ho Won Im in his first round match on Wednesday.
Lucy Shuker is sixth seed for the women's singles and will begin her challenge against Emi Suda of Japan.
Third seed Lapthorne and sixth seed Cotterill are in opposite halves of the quad singles draw. Both have byes into the second round, with Lapthorne playing Chinese Taipei's Tzu-Hsuan Huang for a place in the quarter-finals. Cotterill also faces Japan's Keiji Kondo on Wednesday in his bid to reach the last eight.
Hewett and Reid are second seeds for the men's doubles, while Shuker and Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot are top seeds for the women's doubles. Cotterill and Lapthorne are also top seeds for the quad doubles.