Friday 7th of June, 2013, for the second consecutive year, our Godfather Stéphane Houdet wins the wheelchair tennis final of Roland Garros against the Japanese Shingo Kunieda. HandiCap sur le Monde comes back on this event and takes the time to congratulate an out of the ordinary winner.Let’s talk about the rules of wheelchair tennis first. Invented by Brad Parks, this sport for the disabled is practised since the 70s but only arrived in France during the 80s. The wheelchair tennis possesses mostly the same rules than the tennis for valid peoples: field’s dimension and the net’s height stay the same and it can be practised in simple, double or mixt. However, in the contrary of the “traditional” tennis, players can let the ball bounces twice before they have to through it back to the opponent. With extremely light wheelchair, players of this sport can lose points if they do not keep at least one buttock on the chair while they hit the ball.
Winning successively against the Argentinian Gustavo Fernandes (3-6, 6-4, 0-6) and the Britannic Gordon Reid (3-6, 4-6) in quarter and semi-final, Stéphane Houdet’s final against the Japanese Shingo Kunieda will stay his most beautiful game of the tournament 2013. The two first sets are neck and neck. The French wins the first one, which provokes the reply of the Japanese during the second one. We know that the third one was going to be determining and really tightened. It did not miss: the two players, who were meeting for the 33rd time on the principal circuit, were really determining to win Roland Garros. After 2 hours and 57 minutes of game, the French finally imposes on the Japanese for the second time with a final score of 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.
Bravo Stéphane Houdet for this performance!
Photo credits: Renaud Goude, l’Equipe.