Photo: Hannie VerhoevenNicolas Peifer (FRA)
Gordon Reid and Gustavo Fernandez, the winners of the singles title for the last two years at the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, will meet in this year’s semifinals at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event in Rotterdam after all four seeded players eased through their quarterfinals in straight sets.
A French player is guaranteed to be in Saturday’s final, with world No. 1 Stephane Houdet taking on Nicolas Peifer in the other singles semifinal.
Houdet and Peifer are also one match away from retaining their doubles title in Rotterdam. They will face Gustavo Fernandez and Alfie Hewett in Friday’s final.
World No. 3 Reid raced through the first ten games of his all-British singles quarterfinal against Alfie Hewett. Hewett missed opportunities to get on the scoreboard in the tenth game, but won four of the next five games and saved a match point, but ultimately Reid found a way to complete a 60 64 victory.
Fernandez beat reigning Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters champion Martin de la Puente of Spain 63 60 as the Argentinian Melbourne Open and Australian Open champion extended his current winning streak on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour to eight matches.
With all three former singles champions in Rotterdam this year through to Friday’s semifinals, 2010 champion Houdet swept past South Africa’s Evans Maripa 60 62. After two previous quarterfinal wins over Peifer in Rotterdam, Houdet will now meet his countryman in the ITF 1 Series semifinals for the first time.
Peifer came back from 3-1 down in the second set of his quarterfinal to end Dutch hopes of a victory in the singles, beating Maikel Scheffers 61 64.
The success for the seeded players continued in the doubles semifinals, but recent Australian Open finalists and second seeds Fernandez and Hewett had to work hard for their place in the Rotterdam final.
Tom Egberink and Reid reeled off seven points in a tow to take the first set tiebreak against Fernandez and Hewett. However, Fernandez and Hewett got the better of the exchange of service breaks in the second set and went to take the deciding match tiebreak to advance 67(1) 63 (10-5).
The other doubles semifinal saw defending champions Houdet and Peifer drop just the second game as they emerged comfortable 61 60 victors against Takuya Miki and Scheffers.