02 Aug 2017

Barten defeats Schroder as British Open begins


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Photo: Tennis FoundationBryan Barten (USA)

World No. 10 Bryan Barten got the better of Sam Schroder for the first time in three meetings in the space of six weeks this summer as the 2017 British Open, part of the UNUQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour got underway on Tuesday in Nottingham, Great Britain.

Barten’s 76(6) 6 victory continued a sequence of gradual progression against world No. 8 Schroder after the young Dutchman beat Barten in straight sets in June  in the first of their career meetings at the BNP Paribas Open de France.

With Schroder needing a final set tiebreak to win their second meeting at the ITF 2 German Open, their second head-to-head in the last 16 at a super Series event brought a breakthrough for Barten as the American advanced 76(6) 63 to set up a quarterfinal against Australian fourth seed Heath Davidson.

Davidson’s 62 60 win over Mitch McIntyre was by far the most comprehensive win in Tuesday’s five round-robin matches at the fifth Super Series tournament of the year.

The other three matches all went to three set, with local James Shaw coming from a set and 5-3 down to defeat fellow Brit Richard Green  67(4)75 61, Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva defeating Shota Kawano of Japan  57 64 62 and world No. 9 Antony Cotterill adding to the home success as he battled back from a slow start to best USA’s Greg Hasterok 16 63 63.

Shaw, Silva and Cotterill now face the top three seeds respectively, world No.1 David Wagner, world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne and world No. 4 Lucas Sithole.

Buis and Shuker survive early scares in women’s singles  

The first match-up between two Top 10 players in the women’s singles produced a fascinating contest between world No. 6 Marjolein Buis and world No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane.

Buis looked to be en route to levelling the contest after moving a break up in the second set, but she eventually needed a tiebreak before forcing the decider and returned after one of several rain delays on the opening day of competition to wrap up a 16 76(2) 63 victory.

Buis is likely to face another stern challenge in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, where she takes on USA’s Dana Mathewson, who has returned to her career-best at No. 10 in this week’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Rankings.

While Buis needed a second set tiebreak to extend her British Open challenge, the second set of Lucy Shuker’s first round contest against Brazilian Natalia Mayara was memorable for other reasons.

World No. 7 Shuker looked to be cruising to victory when she took a commanding 6-0, 5-0 lead over Mayara. However, the first career meeting between the two players soon took on a different complexion as Mayara reeled off seven games in succession to fore the decider. The first of Tuesday’s rain breaks brought some relief for Shuker and the Briton came out when played resumed to book her quarterfinal berth 60 57 63.

Colombia’s Angelica Bernal completed victory over Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana in a second set tiebreak, Bernal’s 61 76(5) win setting up a quarterfinal against world No. 1 Yui Kamiji.

Meanwhile, a 64 61 win for Japan’s Saki Takamuro over Brit Lauren Jones saw Takamuro through to meet Wimbledon champion and second seed Diede de Groot, who will begin her latest British Open challenge at a career best ranking of No.2.

Kunieda books first men’s singles quarterfinal berth

Five-time British Open champion Shingo Kunieda opened his bid for a sixth men’s singles title in Nottingham with a routine 60 60 win over India’s Manojkanth Somasundaram.

With Somasundaram the only non-seed to be awarded a bye on his British Open debut, former world No. 1 Kunieda soon wrapped up his win to set up a last eight meeting against either current world No. 1 Gustavo Fernandez or South Africa’s Evans Maripa.

Kunieda was one of four men’s singles players to advance 60 60, along with Tom Egberink, Takashi Sanada and Daniel Rodrigues.

Kunieda’s one of four former men’s champions playing in this year’s British Open and another past winner of the fifth Super Series event of the year, Maikel Scheffes, joined Takuya Miki in recording a 63 62 win over Spanish opposition.

Miki now becomes Stephane Houdet’s first opponent of this year in Nottingham as the French third seed begins his bid for a third straight British Open title. Scheffers continues his own bid for a third British Open crown against recent Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden.

Egberink will play 2013 champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium while Rodrigues and Sanada face second seed Gordon Reid and sixth seed Nicolas Peifer. Fifteen-year-old Ruairi Logan, winner of the junior singles at the 2016 British Open, will play his first round of 16 British Open  men’s singles match against fellow Brit and world No. 3 Alfie Hewett after defeating Pakistan’s Asifa Abbasi 63 63.   

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Order of Play - Wednesday, 2 August



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