Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Playing in the second quad wheelchair doubles Grand Slam final of his career on Saturday at Roland-Garros, Rob Shaw of North Bay, Ontario came up just short in his bid to capture a maiden Major title.
After a hot start, the second-seeded team of Shaw and Australia’s Heath Davidson fell 1-6, 6-2, 10-3 to Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain and Donald Ramphadi of South Africa. The Canadian-Aussie du got off to a flier, winning six straight games after getting broken out of the gate in the first game of the match. Unfortunately, they were unable to carry their momentum into set two as Lapthorne and Ramphadi bounced back to force a decisive 10-point match tiebreak to decide the 2023 French Open champions.
Finding their games at just the right time, Lapthorne and Ramphadi continued to play at the top of their games after capturing the second set and jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the match tiebreak, a deficit that proved too much for Shaw and Davidson to overcome as the two teams shook hands at the net seven points later. On the stat sheet, the contest was close in every category with Lapthorne and Ramphadi winning only nine more points than their opponents in the match.
Shaw, Canada’s top-ranked wheelchair tennis player, is now a two-time Grand Slam quad doubles finalist after also finishing as the runner-up at the U.S. Open last year to highlight his first appearance at a Major tournament. Throughout his impressive career, the 33-year-old has won a total of 41 titles in singles and doubles. He also took home the gold medal at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. He is currently ranked no. 3 in the world in quad wheelchair doubles and came into Roland-Garros with momentum after reaching an ITF final last week in Royan, France.
Leylah Annie Fernandez will attempt to win her first Grand Slam crown on Sunday when she plays in the women’s doubles final alongside American Taylor Townsend. The pair will go up against Su-Wei Hsieh and Xinyu Wang beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET on TSN 1.