World No. 6 Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands moved into the second round of the women’s singles on the first day of the APIA Sydney International Open, the first Super Series event of the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after winning her much-anticipated first round match against world No. 7 Lucy Shuker of Great Britain.
Despite losing the last two of their three matches in 2012 to Shuker, Walraven held on in temperatures approaching 40 degrees to prevail 63 63 and earn one of the two available spots in the quarterfinals. Walraven will now face second seed Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, who begins the Sydney International undefeated in two tournaments so far this season.
Yui Kamiji of Japan secured the other place in the last eight after beating Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park 61 63. Kamiji will take on Dutch top seed and world No. 2 Aniek van Koot for a place in the semifinals.
Men’s seeds ease into second round
Only one of the 14 matches in the first round of the men’s singles went to three sets as the seeded players all progressed comfortably.
South Africa’s Leon Els had to come from a set down before beating Australia’s Jason Copp, but dominated the last two sets of their match to advance 36 61 61.
Els will be the only South African in the second round after his countryman Eliphas Maripa was drawn against defending champion Michael Jeremiasz, with the French sixth seed winning 61 61.
Apart from Els’s three set win, the closest of the other matches ended with Germany’s Pedro Kruemmel beating Australia’s Stephane Rochecouste 63 76(6) to earn a second round contest against French eighth seed Nicolas Peifer.
Kruemmel is one of two German’s who will meet seeded opposition in the second round after Steffen Sommerfeld also progressed without dropping a game.
Sommerfeld and Korea Republic’s Sam Ju-Kim joined world No. 4 Ronald Vink and world No. 9 Gordon Reid in beating Asutsralian opponents 6-0, 6-0, while world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands and world No. 5 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina also dented the hopes of the host nation, with Fernandez defeating Australian No. 1 BenWeekes 62 62.
However, Adam Kellerman and Henry de Cure ensured an Australian presence in the second round. Kellerman beat world top 10 ranked quad player Anders Hard of Sweden 63 60, while de Cure eased past his countryman Richard Lee 61 62 to book a contest against former Australian Open champion and world No. 2 Shingo Kunieda of Japan. Kellerman’s match against Fernandez is possibly the most eye-catching of the second round contests.