Disability Japan Para Sports Sports

Japanese Wheelchair Tennis players sweep Australian Open singles finals

Shingo Kunieda earned his 10th singles title in Melbourne after brushing off Britain's Gordon Reid 6-4, 6-4, while Yui Kamiji claimed her second Australian Open singles title by defeating Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands, also in straight sets.

From Kyodo News

2nd February 2020

MELBOURNE, Australia – Japanese wheelchair tennis players swept the men’s and women’s singles finals at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Shingo Kunieda earned his 10th singles title in Melbourne after brushing off Britain’s Gordon Reid 6-4, 6-4, while Yui Kamiji claimed her second Australian Open singles title by defeating Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands, also in straight sets.

The current world No. 1 Kunieda faced a difficult challenge from the No. 7 Reid, who opened both sets by taking a lead.

After overcoming a 3-0 Reid start to claim the first set, Kunieda dropped an early serve in the second and had to battle to even it at 3-3, assisted by several unforced errors from his opponent. He then won three of the next four games to seal the match in 1 hour, 43 minutes.

“I’m really relieved because I wasn’t able to win a Grand Slam in a while,” said Kunieda, the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic singles champion.

“This season is very important with the Tokyo Paralympics, so I’m glad to open the season on a winning note.”

Earlier in the day, world No. 2 Kamiji beat the No. 3 van Koot 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s final, adding this year’s singles title to the one she won in 2017. She fired one ace and 23 winners en route to sealing the win in 1 hour, 9 minutes.

“I’m really happy that I won the first Grand Slam of the season. I played believing that I could take control if I (played the ball) to my opponent’s backhand, and I was able to continue that until the end,” Kamiji said.

The 25-year-old Kamiji also won the women’s doubles title in Melbourne with her British partner Jordanne Whiley. The duo defeated Dutch first seeds Diede de Groot and van Koot 6-2, 6-4 in the final on Friday.

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