Photo: Hannie VerhoevenTom Egberink (NED) and Gordon Reid (GBR)
Tom Egberink made a winning return to the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in front of a home Dutch crowd on Tuesday evening when he partnered Gordon Reid to reach the men’s doubles semifinals at the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Egberink and Reid and Takuya Miki and Maikel Scheffers booked their places in the last four of the doubles as the latest UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event to take place alongside an ATP World Tour event got underway. The singles first round matches take place on Wednesday evening.
Egberink broke the thumb on his right hand in a quarterfinal match in Canada shortly before the Rio Paralympics last September. The Dutchman recovered sufficiently to line up in Rio, but had not competed again internationally before he and Reid defeated Spanish duo Daniel Caverzaschi and Martin de la Puente 60 64.
Egberink and Reid will now face Australian Open finalists and second seeds Gustavo Fernandez and Alfie Hewett in the semifinals in Rotterdam, while Miki and Scheffers will meet Paralympic champions and top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Miki and Scheffers went into their quarterfinal with one title and two semifinals to their name in three previous tournaments together, but their hopes of reaching a fourth successive semifinal looked slim as they slipped 5-2 behind against Frederic Cattaneo and Evans Maripa.
However, the Japanese-Dutch duo gradually fought back and took the last four points of the first set tiebreak. Thereafter, Miki and Scheffers earned an early break for a 3-1 second set lead and a double fault from Scheffers on match point provided only a temporary hindrance to their progress as Miki and Scheffers wrapped up a 76(4) 63 victory.
Caverzaschi and de la Puente set for singles first round clash
While Caverzaschi and de la Puente bowed out of the men’s doubles, Spain is guaranteed to have singles quarterfinalist as the top two ranked Spaniards are set to meet on Wednesday in one of four first round matches.
Caverzaschi and three-time Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters champion de la Puente will go head-to-head for the right to meet third seed and new Australian Open champion Fernandez. An all-British quarterfinal could also be on the cards, with world No. 6 Hewett needing to beat Miki if he is to earn a place in the last eight against second seed and defending Rotterdam champion Reid.
Fernandez, the victor in 2015, and Reid are among three past singles champions in Rotterdam this year. World No. 1 Houdet, the 2010 singles champion, will begin his 2017 challenge against Egberink or Maripa, with the winner of the match-up between Cattaneo and Scheffers moving on to a quarterfinal against fourth seed Peifer.