Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson took the quad doubles title on Thursday Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson took the quad doubles title on Thursday

Wheelchair wrap: Aussie mates take quad doubles title

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Australian wildcard Heath Davidson kept his home quad singles Grand Slam title tilt alive with a destructive 6-2 6-1 victory over Great Britain’s Andrew Lapthorne, on a day that he also clinched doubles silverware at Melbourne Park.

MORE: All the latest scores and results  

The 30-year-old clinched a maiden win over the world No.2, setting up a must-win clash with compatriot Dylan Alcott on Friday. 

“It feels awesome. On a home court, my second full Aussie Open, I’d never beaten Lapthorne before, so I’m very happy to get the win,” reflected Davidson. 

“We’ve played a number of times, I’ve got him to tie-breakers, but I’ve never been able to get over the line. It’s a massive confidence booster for me. 

“At the last change of ends I was just saying to myself ‘it’s just another game mate,’ I kept my cool, played some good points. I kissed my frame at the end because that final shot was yucky!” 

Triple defending champion Alcott and Davidson are both level on one win and one defeat during the group stage. 

“It’s great I’m still in the tournament, it’s going to be an interesting one against Dylan tomorrow, one of my best mates,” added Davidson. 

“I love playing him, we train together the whole time. It’s one of those things, it’s always good. We’re going to be out there trying to take each other’s heads off,” joked the home wildcard. 

“I’ll go cheer him on after my recovery.” 

Alcott put in a sensational performance to save four match points in a pulsating two-and-a-half-hour marathon with top seed David Wagner, but was eventually ousted 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4 by the American. 

“I had those match points, but I couldn’t think too much about them. I know it’s a big point, but I had to look at it as just another one. It was frustrating but it’s not over until it’s over. I know it’s cliché, but that’s tennis,” said three-time Australian Open champion Wagner. 

“I knew he wasn’t going to give up, so I had to fight for every point. 

“I want to play my best every time I step onto court, if that gets me into a final then awesome,” continued Wagner, who had Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi amongst the enthralled spectators. 

“That transcends to off the court as well, being the best I can.” 

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David Wagner v Dylan Alcott match highlights from the first round of the quad wheelchair singles tournament AO18.

David Wagner def. Dylan Alcott match highlights (1R)

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Alcott and Davidson returned to court later on Thursday evening to lift the quad doubles title in a gruelling 6-0 6-7(5) 10-6 win over Lapthorne and Wagner. 

Remarkably, Alcott lost nine Grand Slam doubles finals prior to the match, but was relieved to finally get over the line in front of a packed-out crowd.

“It’s been amazing for so many of you to come out and watch us in this incredible atmosphere,” said Alcott, addressing the crowd. “It’s changing the face of wheelchair tennis. It means the world to us. Heath, love you, so proud of what we’ve managed to do.” 

Over to the women’s wheelchair singles, reigning champion and world No.1 Yui Kamiji flew the flag for Japan with a 6-3 6-2 win over Sabine Ellerbrock to launch back into the final. 

Meanwhile, world No.2 Diede De Groot edged her doubles partner and compatriot Aniek Van Koot 6-2 6-3 in the other semifinal. 

The Dutchwomen then combined in the doubles for a 6-2 6-4 victory over German duo Katharina Kruger and Ellerbrock. Their reward is a trophy shootout with No.1 seeds Kamiji and Marjolein Buis

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Highlights from the Yui Kamiji v Sabine Ellerbrock women's wheelchair singles semifinal.

Yui Kamiji def. Sabine Ellerbrock (SF)

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Stefane Houdet edged into the men’s wheelchair singles final with a 6-2 7-5 passage past his doubles partner Nicolas Peifer

The Frenchman will vie for the trophy in a battle with eight-time champion Shingo Kunieda, who edged Stefan Olsson 7-6(6) 6-2 on Thursday.

In the men’s doubles final, Houdet and Peifer will play British top seeds Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid, who beat Gustavo Fernandez and Kunieda 6-1 4-6 [10-6] in a cliff-hanger than finished well into Thursday evening. 

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Hewett/Reid and Fernandez/Kunieda in the wheelchair semifinals at Australian Open 2018.

Hewett/Reid def. Fernandez/Kunieda match highlights (SF)

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