05 Jan 2012

Top seeds exit on first day in Queensland

News Article

Photo: Roy Smiljanic PhotographyDavid Phillipson (GBR)

The first day of the 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour brought some intriguing results in Brisbane as the top two seeds in the men’s main draw singles and the second seed in the quad singles were among the seeded players to exit the Queensland Open.

Meanwhile, the match of the day ended with Chile’s Maria Antonieta Ortiz defeating women’s singles seventh seed Yuko Okabe in a final set tiebreak to come through her second match of the day.

As anticipated for the start of Paralympic year, there were a number of matches between closely ranked players. World No. 20 David Phillipson fought back to beat his fellow Briton and world No. 11 Gordon Reid 67(3) 60 61.  Phillipson plays Dutch world No. 16 Tom Egberink in the quarter-finals after Egberink earned a straight sets win over Japan’s Yoshinobu Fujimoto, the player ranked immediately below him.

Elsewhere, on a largely good day for the British players, 2010 Queensland Open champion Marc McCarroll produced a comprehensive 62 60 win over Japanese second seed Takashi Sanada. McCarroll faces Frenchman Frederic Cazeaudumec in the last eight after Cazeaudumec won the closest match on the scoreboards on the opening day, defeating Australian wild card Adam Kellerman 75 63.

Fourth seed Ben Weekes of Australia and Austrian world No. 18 Martin Legner will also meet in what should be an enthralling last eight match, while Michael Jeremiasz of France and Takuya Miki of Japan both eased through their opening matches to set up a head-to-head between them.

Ortiz edges Okabe in thriller 

The match of the day arguably came in the women’s singles as Maria Antonieta Ortiz of Chile won the first final set tiebreak of the 2012 NEC Tour.

Playing her second match of the day after earlier beating Brazil’s Natalia Mayara comfortably, Ortiz defeated seventh seed Yuko Okabe of Japan 63 16 76(8) to book her place in the quarter-finals against fourth seed Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa.

Montjane’s 61 61 win over the vastly experienced Canadian Yuka Chokyu was one of a string of comfortable victories for some of the other seeded players, but German top seed Sabine Ellerbrock far from had things all her way against Parapanam Games silver medallist Emmy Kaiser.  Ellerbrock was pushed hard by the American before eventually emerging the victor 64 76.

Ellerbrock and fellow German Katharina Kruger both go into quarterfinals in the top half of the draw against Japan’s Kanako Domori and Christine Schoenn of France respectively. In the bottom half of the draw, Britain’s Louise Hunt won her first ever match in Australia to set up a quarterfinal against second seed Daniela di Toro.     

Parfitt defeats Sithole

With just one world ranking place separating Britain’s John Parfitt and Lucas Sithole of South Africa when the draw for the quad singles was made, world No. 11 Sithole started the tournament as second seed and looked like justifying his berth after easing to the first set.  However, Parfitt hit back and edged a tight deciding set to prevail 16 61 75 and set up a semifinal against American Greg Hasterok.

Hasterok and Canada’s Adrian Dieleman both enjoyed comfortable victories over Japan’s Takahiro Koga and Takashi Nagaoka respectively, while Italian top seed Marco Innocenti had a first round bye ahead of his semifinal against Dieleman.