Dylan Alcott ensured he was still in contention to lift both singles and doubles titles in Bath after a series of straight set semi-final victories as the quad division finalists were decided on day three of the tournament.
I was really happy to get the win and great to get the doubles win as well and hopefully I can win both titles tomorrow. Dylan Alcott
In singles he edged through his all-Australian semi-final against doubles partner Heath Davidson 6-3 7-5.
And in doubles, this time with Davidson on the same side of the net, the University of Bath played host to a replay of the Rio Paralympic doubles final as the all-Australian duo came out on top against the all-American one of David Wagner and Nick Taylor 6-4 6-3.
Alcott said: “ I was really happy to get the win and great to get the doubles win as well and hopefully I can win both titles tomorrow.”
Wagner will meet Alcott again in tomorrow’s final, as the World number one from the USA booked his place in the singles final with a 6-2 6-1 over Lucas Sithole.
Wagner said: “It feels great to get another win under the belt. Everyone’s really strong here and facing Dylan in the final will be no exception so I’m just going to have to play the best I can tomorrow.”
And after their 6-3 6-4 win over Anders Hard and Britain’s James Shaw it will be Ymanitu Silva and Lucas Sithole waiting for Alcott and Davidson in the doubles final.
Alcott: ‘It was probably one of the best matches and the highest level of tennis I’ve played with him.’
It’s hard to believe that before today the two Australian’s had only had three previous on court meetings, all of which have been in 2017, all of which have been won by Alcott but one of which saw Davidson take the World number four to three sets.
That match was at the Japan Open in May of this year and today’s match once again saw Davidson nipping at Alcott’s heels, suggesting that it won’t be long before we see him get his first victory over his doubles partner.
And despite the final scoreboard saying it was done and dusted in straight sets, it’s how the points played out that tells the full story.
The second set in particular was among the best and exciting sets of tennis played on day three in Bath, Davidson very nearly taking it off Alcott.
Alcott had to work for every point and play smart to get past Davidson who also was playing some great shots and proving with every one why he has enjoyed a significant rise up the rankings this year.
Praising Davidson he said: “He played incredibly well I was proud of him. It was probably one of the best matches and the highest level of tennis I’ve played with him.
“He wasn’t missing so I had to try and mix it up and I was just lucky to get out of there alive.”
But one thing Alcott knows how to do well is handle the pressure when things get tight and with Davidson up 5-4 and 40-0 in the second set he brought out his out his best tennis to take the final three games of the second set and as a result the match.
Alcott said: “He was winning the second set at one point but he didn’t lose it I just played five epic points and then he played epic points.
“We were both laughing at one point cause we were both smashing it so much and it was really enjoyable and it’s so good to see him come along so well.”
Now one score we had to settle though when we caught up with Dylan after the match was Heath’s theory about this semi-final being ‘the battle of the better looking bloke’
So did the better looking bloke win in his opinion?
All Dylan said was: “Well yeah although I would have won it love and love if that was the case.”
Wagner: ‘I feel like if I play well then anything can happen and that’s what I shoot for.’
It was a slightly simpler affair for the World number one, as he took on Lucas Sithole in his semi-final.
In their previous 38 meetings Sithole had only been the victor in eight of them, his last win over the American coming in the semi-final of the 2015 British Open, so it was always going to be tough for the South African.
And with Wagner showcasing the kind of skill today that has seen him climbing to the top of the world rankings it was difficult to get past him.
A series of precise and cleverly thought out shots designed to take the sting out of any attack from the opponent at the other side of the net, no matter how powerful, seeing Wagner come out on top of this head-to-head once again.
Wagner said: “It was a pretty good win. There were a few errors here and there and things to clean up but all in all it felt good.
“I feel like if I play well then anything can happen and that’s what I shoot for.”