Shingo Kunieda was crowned men’s singles champion and Bryan Barten won the quad title as the Birmingham Classic, an ITF 1 Series wheelchair tennis tournament in Mississauga, Ont., came to a close on Sunday.
Kunieda was challenged by his countryman, No. 3 seed Takashi Sanada, but lived up to his top billing with a 6-3, 7-6(2), triumph. Kunieda, who has been injured much of the season, didn’t drop a set though the tournament as he found his form.
For his part, No. 1 seed Barten from the United States came through in a tough battle with No. 2 seed Kyu-Seung Kim of South Korea 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 to claim his biggest title of the season.
Both world No. 8 Barten and No. 7 Kunieda will soon be heading to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with their big titles from Canada in hand. Kunieda will be aiming for his third singles gold medal in a row – he won in both London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
The top seeds at this year’s Birmingham Classic were victorious in each singles draw, as Katharina Kruger of Germany, the No. 1 seed in the women’s event, also captured the title a day earlier. She, too, will now be headed to Rio.
Taking place at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga, Ont., the Birmingham Classic was a four-day professional wheelchair tennis event offering $30,000 in total prize money.