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joyful rogger fedder

Monday, July 6, 2009

French pair are men's wheelchair winners

Photo Titled Houdet and Jeremiasz
Houdet and Jeremiasz
In a demandingly long final, top seeds Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz of France were up against number three seeds Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands and Shingo Kunieda of Japan in the final of the wheelchair doubles. It was the Frenchmen who held aloft the silver salvers, winning 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Robin Ammerlaan is the defending champion here, and this year he has linked up with two-time wheelchair world champion 25-year-old Shingo Kunieda from Japan. The match began at a fearsome pace, with some exciting all-court rallies as the players sped around the court and wove around each other in an almost balletic performance.

But the top seeds failed to make the key points and the third seeds took a 5-0 lead in just 15 minutes, wrapping up the first set in 28 minutes.

The match continued apace, with both pairs moving around the court at such a rate as to rarely need the two-bounce option of the wheelchair competition. The French duo were clearly determined not to be beaten so easily, and pounced on the Ammerlaan serve at 5-2 up to work two set points. Attacking net play by 38-year-old Houdet, who’s only been playing wheelchair tennis for four years, with a couple of smashes won the set for the pair, and forced the decider.

The third set was all square after six games. The third seeds created two break points which Kunieda cashed in with a glorious driving forehand. But it was not so easy as the top seeds immediately broke back to level the match.

In this most tightly-fought of finals, it was inevitable the match would go all the way to the third set tiebreak. In the end, it was the number one seeds who built three championship points with some great, angled shots. They needed just one opportunity to clinch the win in a gripping match that lasted two hours and 11 minutes.

Court 4 - Gentlemen's Wheelchair Doubles - Finals
Stephane Houdet FRA /
Michael Jeremiasz FRA
Robin Ammerlaan NED /
Shingo Kunieda JPN

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