23 Dec 2018

Present in force and most competitive throughout the whole six days of play, Japan dominated proceedings in the Men’s Doubles event at the 2018 United States Open in Orlando as matters approached a conclusion on Saturday 22nd December.

They secured all three steps of the podium.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Takeshi Atsuya and Koji Uezu emerged the winners; after accounting for Kei Murai and Daisuke Kitaguchi in a hard fought five games full distance contest (11-3, 17-15, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7), they recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Shoji Fujiki and Tohei Kanoya (8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9) to secure the title.

In the opposite half of the draw, in a rather less intense and dramatic fashion, Shoji Fujiki and Tohei Kanoya had beaten Yuki Shimoyama and Tokushima Tsuyoshi (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8) to reserve their place in the final.

Notably all four semi-finalists were unexpected; none occupied highly seeded places, all were outsiders for honours.

Earlier at the quarter-final stage Takeshi Atsuya and Koji Uezu had beaten the host nation’s Kanak Jha and Zhang Kai, the top seeds (11-8, 11-6, 11-7); Shoji Fujiki and Ryohei Kanoya had accounted for the Canadian combination of Jeremy Hazin and Eugene Wang, the no.2 seeds (6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2). Likewise in five games, Kei Murai and Daisuke Kitaguchi had ended the hopes of Germany’s Gerritt Engemann and Tobias Hippler, the no.3 seeds (11-4, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in the opening round Yuki Shimoyama and Tokushima Tsuyoshi had progressed by overcoming United States pairings. In a most impressive manner they had beaten Tian Ye and Nicholas Tio, the pair that shared the third seeded spot with the German duo (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8), prior to overcoming Dan Liu and Chen Bo Wen (11-6, 11-6, 13-11) to seal their penultimate round place.

2018 United States Open: Seeding and Results

2018 United States Open: Feature articles by Matt Hetherington and Richard Finn

2018 United States Open Takeshi Atsuya Koji Uezu Kei Murai Daisuke Kitaguchi