11 Jan 2013

Van Koot heads Dutch semifinalists in Sydney

Match Report

Photo: Vincent Van Doornick/Philippe BuissinAniek van Koot (NED)

Top seed Aniek van Koot survived a second set comeback from Japan’s world No. 11 Yui Kamiji as the world No. 2 won her first match of 2013 on Saturday’s second day of the APIA Sydney International Open to become one of three Dutch players in the women’s singles semifinals.

Van Koot eased through the opening set and moved 4-1 ahead in the second set before Kamiji won the next four games to lead 5-4. However, van Koot regrouled to complete her 61 75, setting up an all-Dutch semifinal against world No. 5 Marjolein Buis.

“It was a solid match, but suddenly I was 4-5 down in the second,” said van Koot. “But I’m happy with the win in the end.”

Buis also had a tough second set against South Africa’s world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane, but eventually came through 61 64.

The semifinal in the bottom half of the draw will be a rematch of the first women’s final of the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, at the Queensland Open, between world No. 3 Sabine Ellerborck of Germany and world No. 4 Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands.

Ellerbrock ended any prospect of an all-Dutch semifinal line-up when she defeated Sharon Walrlaven 62 62, while Griffioen eased past Australia’s Janel Manns in her quarterfinal.

Top seeds reach men’s quarterfinals

There were no surprises in the men’s singles as all eight seeds reached the quarterfinals, with 2012 ITF World Champion Stephane Houdet of France dropping just two games in his first match of 2013.

Houdet beat Austria’s Martin Legner 62 60 to book his place in the last eight against Great Britainn’s Gordon Reid.  Reid, the Adelaide Open champion, extended his unbeaten run for the year as he eased past Korea Republic’s Sam-Ju Kim 61 61.

Dutch world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers recorded another comfortable win after beating South Africa’s Leon Els 60 60 and will now face defending champion Michael Jeremiasz of France, who ended Austrian hopes at the first Super Series tournament of 2013 after defeating Thomas Mossier 61 62.

After joining Houdet in having a first roune bye, world No. 2 Shingo Kunieda of Japan began 2013 without dropping a game, beating Australia’s Henry de Cure.

World No. 4 Ronald Vink will play eighth seed Nicolas Peifer of France for a place in the semifinals after both players beat German opponents. Vink defeated Steffen Sommerfeld 60 62, while Peifer secured a comfortable 61 60 win over Petrol Kruemmel.

Meanwhile, after securing his maiden Super Series title in 2012, world No. 5 Gustavo Fernandez opened his bid in the latest Super Series tournament with a 64 61 win over Australia’s Adam Kellerman. Fernandez will now play Kunieda, the only one of the world’s top four players the 18-year-old Argentinean didn’t face en route to winning last May’s Japan Open.