03 Aug 2017

Brits Hewett, Reid into historic British Open semi


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Photo: Tennis FoundationGordon Reid (GBR)

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid set up the first all-Brit men’s singles semifinal in the history of the British Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, on Thursday as Gustavo Fernandez and Stephane Houdet also booked their places in the last four of the Super Series even in Nottingham.

World No. 2 Reid, already twice a finalist in Nottingham, booked his place in the last four this year with a 75 16 62 victory over French sixth seed Nicolas Peifer.

“It was even more difficult conditions than yesterday. It was quite blustery at times, it was a little bit cold and a little bit drizzly, but I thought I played some pretty good tennis in the third set. Nico started to be a little more consistent in the second set and I wasn’t missing by much, but it didn’t matter in the end and I was reading the ball better in the third set and used the wind to my advantage, too,” said reigning Paralympic champion Reid.

Rio silver medallist Hewett, who is at a career best world No. 3 ranking for the first time this week, came from 5-2 down and two set points down in the second set to wrap up a 76(4) 76(3) victory over 2013 British Open champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium in his quarterfinal.  

World No. 1 Fernandez kept himself on course in his bid for his first British Open title after earning a thrilling 62 06 75 win over five-time British Open champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan, recovering from 4-2 down in the final set.

After the Argentinian had taken then opening set there was an eight minute rain delay before the second set could get underway and Kunieda went on to race towards setting up for the decider. However, Fernandez just had the edge in a final set the brought some breath-taking tennis from both players.

"It is always nice to beat the best in history. A player I respect and admire a lot," said Fernandez.

"It always motivtes me to play against Shingo snd you always know it's going to be a tough match. I started playing really well, but then he started playing better. I wasn't playing well at the start of the third set, but I know I have to fight and be ready for anythng and at the end I thinked I played very well."  

Houdet maintains his hopes of a third successive British Open title after ending the winning sequence in Britain this summer of Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden. Third seed Houdet clinched their quarterfinal 75 62.

Quad doubles and women’s doubles finalists decided

Reigning UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters champions Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne ensured that there will be a British pairing in Saturday’s quad doubles final after beating Australia’s Heath Davidson and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole 64 62 in their semifinal.

Second seeds Cotterill and Lapthorne will play American top seeds Bryan Barten and David Wagner in the final after Barten and Wagner’s 61 75 win over Greg Hasterok and Ymanitu Silva.

Meanwhile, with all of the British Open doubles finals scheduled for Saturday’s penultimate day of play in Nottingham, the women’s doubles final will see Dutch top seeds and Rio Paralympic silver medallists Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot take on the second seeds, Dana Mathewson of USA and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa.

Buis and de Groot eased to s 62 60 semifinal win over Sabine Ellerbrock and Manami Tanaka. However, second seeds Mathewson and Montjane had a much tougher time against Macarena Cabrillana and Natalia Mayara before eventually edging past their Chilean-Brazilian opponents 63 47 64.   

The men’s doubles finalists will be decided on Friday, when the quad singles and women’s singles finalists will also be decided.

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