Cotterill and Lapthorne into quad doubles final
Defending champions Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne secured their place in the quad final on Thursday’s second day of the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters after the British duo edged an enthralling repeat of the 2016 final against USA’s Nick Taylor and David Wagner.
Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles, both of the top two seeded partnerships ensured their safe passage to the semifinals after winning both of their round-robin pool matches un Bemmel, Netherlands.
Friday’s third and last day of round-robin matches therefore features three crucial must-win contests to decide the second set of finalists in the quad doubles and the remaining two semifinalists in the women’s doubles.
Nine-time Doubles Masters champions Taylor and Wagner made the decisive breakthrough to snatch the opening set of their pool match against Cotterill and Lapthorne and made a concerted effort to finishing the match in straight sets after coming from a break down to level the second set.
However, Cotterill and Lapthorne would not be denied and took the contest into a third and final set before earning what turned out to be the decisive twist as they created a 5-3 lead.
Cotterill and Lapthorne’s 57 75 63 win means that Taylor and Wagner’s hopes of keeping their bid for a tenth Doubles Masters title alive rests with a meeting with Australia’s Heath Davidson and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole on Friday.
“It was another long match, we’ve had quite a lot of long matches against them in the past. We started off a little bit slow but then we got it together a bit more in the second set and I thought we played well,” said Cotterill.
“It was just a case of doing what we’ve worked on in training. If we do what we’ve worked on in training our styles complement each other and we’re tough to beat. We both played well, it was good to get that break at 5-3 to give ourselves a cushion and we came through in the end.”
The day’s other quad pool contest saw Davidson and Sithole drop just the second game of their match-up with USA’s Greg Hasterok and Korea Republic’s Kyu-Seung Kim, earning a comprehensive 61 60 win in an hour and 16 minutes to maintain their hopes of reaching the final.
If they are going to book their place in the final Davidson and Sithole will need to upset three-time Paralympic champions Taylor and Wagner on Friday afternoon.
Mathewson and Shuker through in three-set test
Second seeds Dana Matheson and Lucy Shuker ensured their place at the head of Pool B in the women’s doubles after winning the event’s first three set contest against Charlotte Famin of France and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane.
Famin and Montjane stormed into a 5-0 second set lead to lay a firm foundation to forcing a deciding set, but they could not maintain their momentum in the decider and Mathewson and Shuker went on to prevail 62 26 63 to make it two wins from two matches in Bemmel.
Famin and Montjane will now take on Britain’s Louise Hunt and Michaela Spaanstra of the Netherlands to decide which of the two partnerships also advance to the semifinals from Pool B.