De Groot Wins Fifth Straight US Open Wheelchair Title

Yui Kamiji and Diede de Groot (photo: Pete Staples/USTA)

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, September 12, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Diede de Groot completed a remarkable unbeaten season in Grand Slam competition for the second straight year. The top-seeded de Groot from Woerden, Netherlands, rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 over No. 2 seed and longtime rival Yui Kamiji of Japan to win her fifth straight US Open Wheelchair women’s singles title Sunday on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Last year, de Groot won all four majors and Paralympic gold to complete a Golden Slam. This year, the 25-year-old made history by becoming the first tennis player – wheelchair or able-bodied – to complete the Grand Slam in consecutive years.

After winning the two-hour and three-minute final against Kamiji, whom she has faced in a final for the seventh time in the last 10 majors, de Groot said: “To win a Grand Slam is always very special. I think it’s one of the tournaments that you train hardest for in the year. Winning one will never get old.

“I think [today] sort of shows how even after playing so many finals you still get nervous. I think I was very relaxed throughout the whole tournament, where I wasn’t last year, except for the final. But I got through it.”

On Saturday, de Groot won the women’s wheelchair doubles title with fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot. She has now garnered 31 Grand Slam titles combined in singles and doubles.

Hewett denies Kunieda’s bid to win all four 2022 majors

Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett defeated No. 1 seed Shingo Kunieda of Japan, 7-6 (2), 6-1, to win the US Open Wheelchair men’s singles title on Louis Armstrong Stadium Sunday.

It was Hewett’s third US Open title against his longtime rival, who was attempting to win all four majors in the calendar year, and it gave the 24-year-old Briton from Cantley, Norfolk a sense of revenge after losing the Wimbledon Championships final to the Japanese star earlier this summer. It was Hewitt’s first win over Kunieda since beating him in the 2021 Roland Garros final.

“There is always going to be something on the line,” Hewett said. “Just a Grand Slam itself is a big occasion. My real internal motivation was for myself.

“Of course, I’m not a nasty person. I didn’t really want to take it necessarily away from him. I feel bad for him because he’s such an incredible ambassador for our sport. It [does] not come around often that you get three majors in one year. He’ll know that that was his chance, but unfortunately, he came up against me today who was, it’s the hungriest I have ever been for a Grand Slam.”

Hewett added: “It’s been a difficult year at the Grand Slams, being so close to a couple of titles, being beaten by Shingo, as well. So, to get a little bit of revenge today on the court, obviously I know it was a massive match for him as well to get the calendar Grand Slam, so I was very happy with my level today.”

Sunday’s win was Hewett’s 21st Grand Slam title (singles and doubles combined). On Saturday, he and fellow Briton Gordon Reid lost the men’s wheelchair doubles title.

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