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Pro Media & News

Casey Ratzlaff earns first win

at Wheelchair Doubles Masters

Victoria Chiesa  |  November 2, 2021
<h1>Casey Ratzlaff earns first win</h1>
<h2>at Wheelchair Doubles Masters</h2>

With Casey Ratzlaff on one side of the net and Chris Herman and Conner Stroud on the other, an American was garaunteed a win—breaking new ground in the process—on Day 3 at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters. In the end, Ratzlaff and his Chilean partner Alexander Cataldo scored a 6-1, 6-4 win in round-robin play over Herman and Stroud, earning the Wichita, Kan. native his first-ever win at the season-ending tournament. 


Ratzlaff arrived at the Masters at a career-high doubles ranking of world No. 21, which he first reached in June, and a debut at the year-end championships closes out a season in which the 23-year-old also qualfied for his first Paralympic Games in Tokyo—where he won a round in singles and doubles—and played in a Grand Slam for the second time at the US Open. After losing their first round-robin match to Paralympic bronze medalists Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands, Ratzlaff and Cataldo close out round-robin play on Wednesday against top seeds and title favorites Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid of Great Britain, winners of the last eight Grand Slam titles and all four this year. 



Dana Mathewson, Nick Taylor and David Wagner were all also in action on Tuesday, but couldn't come away with wins. Mathewson double-dipped on Day 3 by comepting in both singles and doubles, first losing a heart-breaking 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 singles match to South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane before she and partner Lucy Shuker of Great Britain were beaten by Momoko Ohtani and Zhu Zhenzhen in doubles, 7-5, 6-2. In their second round-robin match of the week, Taylor and Wagner fell to the British team of Andy Lapthorne and  Antony Cotterill—against whom they played three straight finals against in 2016, 2017 and 2018, winning two—0-6, 7-5, 6-3. 


“It was a streaky match. They very much know what to do against us and just because we won the first set 6-0 we did not remotely let our guard down," Taylor said in defeat. "Early in the second set, we had a couple of games that were really long and that we lost, and it’s always been a strong theory of mine that the longer a game goes the bigger it becomes, momentum-wise.”


While Taylor and Wagner have the day off in doubles on Wednesday—they'll conclude the round-robin on Thursday—Wagner will face Ymanitu Silva of Brazil in his final round-robin match in the quad singles, where Bryan Barten will also face top seed Sam Schroder of the Netherlands. Mathewson and Shuker will also be in against against second seeds Yui Kamiji and Saki Takamuro of Japan in their second round-robin match, while Herman and Stroud face Egberink and Scheffers.


The NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters, featuring the world's eight best singles players and 18 doubles teams across the men's, women's and quad fields, runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. For more information on the event, visit the tournament hub here.


Photo: Casey Ratzlaff in action during the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. Photo credit: Paul Shank/USTA.


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