By Gary Anderson

January 23 - David Wagner and Andy Lapthorne pose with their Australian Wheelchair Open title ©Getty Images United States and British duo David Wagner and Andy Lapthorne powered their way to victory in the quads doubles final in Melbourne today to claim the first title of this year's Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open.

The pair were up against US Open singles champion Lucas Sithole of South Africa and home favourite Dylan Alcott and proved too strong for their less experienced opponents.

Wagner and Lapthorne immediately broke to take an early 2-0 lead but were hauled back and trailed 3-2 as their opponents regained their composure.

But experience told as Wagner and Lapthorne regrouped to power through the final few games of the opening set to take it 6-4.

The second set followed a similar pattern to the first and after having failing to convert match points at 5-3, Wagner and Lapthorne made no mistake in the next game to seal a 6-4, 6-4 win.

That was a fifth Australian doubles title for Wagner after he and compatriot Nick Taylor claimed wins in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013, while Lapthorne secured his third doubles win Down Under following on from victories in 2011 and 2012 with partner Peter Norfolk.

"I'm really happy to get my third Australian Open title and want to thank David after we have been on opposite sides of the net so often in other Grand Slam finals," Lapthorne said.

"Australia is where I made my Grand Slam debut in 2011 and it's great to get another title.

"This one is dedicated to my late auntie."

That win for Lapthorne made up for a disappointing showing earlier in the day as he lost his second round-robin singles match of the tournament to Alcott, while Wagner came through his match against Sithole 7-6, 7-6 to keep his hopes of a third Australian quads singles title on track.

In the men's singles competition, Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez came through a three-set fight with world number two Stephane Houdet of France to reach his first ever Grand Slam final.

The Argentinean overcame his much more experienced opponent 6-1, 6-7, 8-6 to set up a final clash with world number one and defending champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan, who looked imperious against 2012 champion Maikel Scheffers.

Kunieda outplayed the Dutchman in a surprisingly one-sided match to emerge with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

Partners Lucas Sithole and Dylan Alcott will now go head-to-head in the quads singles competition to for the right to play Wagner in the final ©Getty Images Partners Lucas Sithole and Dylan Alcott will now go head-to-head in the quads singles competition for the right to play Wagner in the final ©Getty Images

Hopes of a Japanese double in the singles competitions are still alive as Yui Kamiji made it through to the women's decider with a notable win over world number four Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.

Kamiji will face Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock after the world number two cruised past Britain's Jordanne Whiley 6-1, 6-1, as she looks to take advantage of the absence of the injured world number one and defending champion Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands.

However, Ellerbrock's interest in the doubles competition came to an end after she and South African Kgothatso Montjane lost out to Kamiji and Whiley, who will meet Dutch pair Marjolein Buis and Griffioen, who overcame compatriot Sharon Walvern and Briton Lucy Shuker.

Scheffers dusted himself down after his singles defeat to secure a place in the men's doubles final after he and partner Gordon Reid of Britain came through 6-2, 7-5 against Fernandez and Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz.

Top seeds Kunieda and Houdet will provide formidable opponents in the final after they saw off the challenge of Belgium Joachim Gerard and Australian Adam Kellerman.

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