Photo: James Jordan PhotographyJiske Griffioen (NED)
Reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Jiske Griffioen got the New Year off to a confident start on the first day of the Queensland Open, the first tournament of the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, beating Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Extreme heat was the order of the day in Queensland and caused play to be postponed for over an hour, but the 27-year old world No. 4, the only one of the top ranked Dutch players contesting the women’s singles at this week’s ITF 2 Series tournament, made light of the condtions and defeated Park 62 61. Griffioen's win sets up a semifinal against Janel Manns, who joined Luba Josevski in winning the two all-Australian first round contests.
Manns beat Lisa Edwards 75 61, while Josevski gained the important breaks to edge out Sarah Calati 64 64 and earn a semifinal against Germany’s world No. 3 Sabine Ellerbrock, who had a first round bye.
In the men’s singles Austria’s Martin Legner started his 23rd year on the NEC Wheelchair
Tennis Tour with the most comprehensive of the first round wins.
Top seed Legner, who passed the landmark of 1000 career singles match wins in 2012, defeated Poland’s Andrezej Suchorsewski 60 60 after the Polish player had come through qualifying along with Australia’s Mark Towner.
Legner and fellow Austrian Thomas Mossier are joined by four Australians in the quarterfinals, including Keegan Oh-Chee, who fought back from a set down to beat his compatriot Philip Rowe 46 62 64. Second seed Ben Weekes also faced a tough opening match of 2013 but held on to beat Germany’s Steffen Sommerfeld 75 64. Oh-Chee and Weekes will go head-to-head in the last eight, guaranteeing an Australian semifinalist.
Adam Kellerman also won an all-Australian first round contest, beating Henry de Cure 61 60, and the third seed will now face Korea Republic’s Sam-Ju Kim, who denied Australia another quarterfinalist after defeating Stephan Rochecouste.
After winning his qualification match in three sets to reach the first round proper in the men's singles, Towner bowed out to South African fourth seed Eliphas Maripa, who eased through their match 60 61 to book his place in the last eight against Mossier, who conquered South Africa's Leon Els 60 63.