It took three sets but the USA’s David Wagner lifted the quad singles title in Bath with a 6-1 0-6 6-4 victory over Dylan Alcott.
I’m looking forward to getting some sleep and watching some Seahawks on Monday Night Football and then making my way over to Amsterdam for the doubles Masters. David Wagner
We’ve seen this pair battle it out 20 times before in a UNIQLO wheelchair tennis tour final and like all the other meetings there were twists, turns and momentum shifts galore in today’s meeting too.
The win sees Wagner lift his eleventh quad singles title on the 2017 tour at the final singles event before the World number one returns to the UK to bid for his tenth NEC singles Masters title in two weeks time.
He said: “It awesome, it feels good.
“I’ve had some tough matches against Dylan in the past and I always say he’s super strong and you can’t give him shots so I just had to try and play a tactical strategy against him.
“Now I’m looking forward to getting some sleep and watching some Seahawks on Monday Night Football and then making my way over to Amsterdam for the doubles Masters.”
The winners were also decided in the quad division doubles event and saw second seeds Ymanitu Silva and Lucas Sithole lift the title after they were handed a walkover.
First set – Wagner
When both players came on to court the odds were stacked firmly in Alcott’s favour, Wagner having not won an exchange with the Rio Paralympic gold medallist since the round robin stages of the 2015 US Open.
Neither player got off to the best of starts both getting their early service games broken – Alcott struggling on serve and notching up a number of double faults and Wagner succumbing to Alcott’s powerful returns.
But it was Wagner who got the first service hold of the match in the fourth game of the first set, a hold which kick started a four game run and a growth in confidence for the player who currently tops the quad division singles rankings, seeing him take the first set 6-1.
He said: “That was a really weird set, the whole first two sets were weird right 6-1 0-6 then all of a sudden a real battle and I’m down 2-4 then I come back to 6-4 I mean that’s pretty amazing.”
Second set – Alcott
The second set started much like the first, with a break of serve.
But it was Alcott who got the first service game on the board this time, not Wagner.
Having not got a game on the board since the second game in the first set this early break of the Wagner serve seemed to spur Alcott on to showcase some of the tennis we are used to seeing the Australian produce.
The double faults that had plagued him in the opening set seemed to disappear and he started hitting winner after winner – cross court, from the net, down the line and any which way you could think of – preventing Wagner from getting even one game in that second set.
And we were into a decider.
Third set – a set of momentum shifts
In a change to the start of set status quo the third set began with a service hold from Wagner who got his first game on the board since the opening set.
There were then three breaks of serve before we saw Alcott consolidate and go 4-2 up.
At this point it looked like once again we would see the World number three come out on top against Wagner.
However it wasn’t over yet.
Momentum then shifted back with the World number one, seeing him go on a three game run which not only saw him break to love in the last game but also take the set, match and title.
And after his amazing comeback from 4-2 down in third set we asked Wagner if he was trying to give Britain’s Alfie Hewett a Masterclass in comebacks ahead of his semi-final, and the World number one laughed as he said: “I think he’s the master of comebacks right.”
Wagner ‘There are some big things coming’
This week in Bath has seen quads division tennis at some of it’s absolute best.
The top players in the world were out in force and the quality of the tennis played showed the superb skill and tactical talent that the players in this division have.
And Wagner has high hopes for the future potential of the division as well to showcase itself at its very best across the world.
He said: “I’m excited that we have six quads now instead of four in the singles Masters and there are some big things coming.
“The next step will be it’s time for eight and whoever it is that hosts the Masters next let’s push for eight cause we’re solid all the way down to eight, you know Bryan Barten, Antony Cotterill, Itay Erenlib – we’ve got great players.
“And then let’s move up in the Slams – let’s get in all four Slams, let’s get eight in all four Slams – we’re really established in Australia and the US so let’s get eight there and then make our way into Wimbledon and Roland Garros.”