ST. LOUIS, Mo.-- On the final day of the 2009 US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships, the crowd was treated to a grand display of the world's best wheelchair tennis players.
The top two seeds in the Men's Open singles draw met for the singles championships on Stadium Court to fight for the title prize. Shingo Kunieda, the top ranked man in the world and Stephane Houdet, the second best man in the world met each other in the final. They rained shots on each other in an extremely tight first set which Kunieda won in the tie-breaker.
It appeared that winning the opening set, Kunieda put his foot on the gas and won the title going away, winning the second set 6-1.
The Women's Open final followed the men's match. The reigning world No. 1, Esther Vergeer from Woerden, Netherlands was able to win yet another title in what appeared to be a quick battle after the first set was won in a quick 6-0 fashion. But Kori Homan (de Wijk, Netherlands) fought back in the second set, winning 6-3.
With the match tied at one set apiece, Vergeer found her game again, racing to the finish line, winning 6-1. Vergeer now moves on to the US Open in Flushing Meadows, where she will again be the favorite to win.
In all, 16 titles were claimed over the six day tournament held at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park.
Sanctioned by the ITF as a Super Series event on the NEC international wheelchair tennis tour, this event features grassroots level players competing along side the world's best. While the top players in the world will be competing for the 2009 title, USTA Gold Balls will also be sought after in all divisions in this USTA National Championship. This American tradition allows players at all ability levels to take pride in competing in or even winning a US Open title.
"The venue is amazing," Dan James, national manager wheelchair tennis for the USTA, said. "I think St. Louis should be proud of what they've brought here."
The Championships continue Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. There will be three finals beginning at 2:00 p.m. First up will be the Men's Open Doubles, followed by the Women's Open Doubles, then the Quad Doubles Final to finish the afternoon.
To begin the tournament, St. Louis mayor Francis G. Slay proclaimed this week at "US Open Week" in St. Louis.
In 1980, Brad and Wendy Parks with Ron Hastings launched the inaugural US Open wheelchair championships in Irvine, Calif. at the Racquet Club of Irvine. In 1999, Rick Draney with Annette and Jim Buck continued the legacy in San Diego, Calif., at the George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center where the US Open wheelchair championships resided for nine seasons. This year the city of St. Louis and the Gateway Confluence Wheelchair Sports Foundation led by Lyn Gerber and Jim Dugan take over.
The USTA was officially designated by the USOC as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.
Check the USTA site for complete results, recaps and photos.
Quad Open Singles
Champion: David Wagner (Portland, Ore.)
Runner-Up: Johan Andersson (Virsbo, Sweden)
Quad Open Doubles
Champion: Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) and David Wagner (Portland, Ore.)
Runner-Up: Johan Andersson (Virsbo, Sweden) and Jaime Burdekin (Liverpool, Great Britain)
3rd Place: David L. Jordan (Chapel Hill, Tenn.) and Marc McLean (Cape Coral, Fla.)
Quad A Singles
Champion: Dan Dorszynski (Honolulu, Ha.)
Runner-Up: Bruce Fairbanks (Dalton, Ga.)
Quad A Doubles
Champion: Dan Dorszynski Honolulu, Ha.) and Bruce Fairbanks (Dalton, Ga.)
Runner-Up: Allen Hoemann (St. Louis) and Vito Lucido (Ballwin, Mo.)
Men's Open Singles
Champion: Shingo Kunieda (Chiba, Japan)
Runner-Up: Shephane Houdet (Paris, France)
Men's Open Doubles
Champion: Robin Ammerlaan (Soest, Netherlands) and Shingo Kunieda (Chiba, Japan)
Runner-Up: Maikel Scheffers (Helvoirt, Netherlands) Ronald Vink (De Rijp, Netherlands)
Men's A Singles
Champion: David Williams (Sugar Hill, Ga.)
Runner-Up: Darryl Rahn (Lincoln, Neb.)
3rd Place: Tony Kurtenbach (Omaha, Neb.)
Men's A Doubles
Champion: David Van Brunt (Rancho Cordova, Calif.) and David B. Williams (Sugar Hill, Ga.)
Runner-Up: Skip Chapman (Locust Grove, Ga.) and Harlon Matthews (Locust Grove, Ga.)
3rd Place: Tony Kurtenbach (Omaha, Neb.) and Darryl Rahn (Lincoln, Neb.)
Men's B Singles
Champion: Andrew Gudmundson (Saly Lake City)
Runner-Up: Christobal Rivera (Valley Stream, NY)
Men's B Doubles
Champion: Andrew Gudmundson (Salt Lake City) and Ryan Thomas Nelson (Sandy, Utah)
Runner-Up: David J. Kelly (Bristol, Conn.) and Bryan K. LaRotonda (Atlanta)
3rd Place: Scott Lee Cole (Wyoming, Mich.) and Anand Selvaraj (Urbana, Ill.)
Men's C Singles
Champion: Larry Orr (Murray, Utah)
Runner-Up: Keith Concar (San Diego, Calif.)
3rd Place: Christopher Parnell (Lincoln, Neb.)
Men's C Doubles
Champion: Sunil Patel (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Victor R. Vaughn (Hardy, Ark.)
Runner-Up: Keith A. Concar (San Diego, Calif.) and Daniel Shane Michener (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
3rd Place: Eric Kingery (Lincoln, Neb.) and Christopher Parnell (Lincoln. Neb.)
Women's Open Singles
Champion: Esther Vergeer (Netherlands)
Runner-Up: Korie Homan (Netherlands)
Women's Open Doubles
Champion: Giske Griffioen (Woerden, Netherlands) and Kori Homan (de Wijk, Netherlands)
Runner-Up: Daniela DiToro (Victoria, Australia) and Lucy Shuker (Fleet, Hampshire, Great Britain)
Women's A Singles
Champion: Marianna Page (Payson, Utah)
Runner-Up: Jullana Curry (Frederisckburg, Va.)
Women's A Doubles
Champion: Marianna Page (Payson, Utah) and Dawn Crawford (Schererville, Ind.)
Runner-Up: Jullana Curry (Fredericksburg, Va.) and Molly Rogers (Eugene, Ore.)
3rd Place: Brittany Barrett (Spring Hill, Fla.) and Donna Chapman (Locust Grove, Ga.)