Photo: Susan Harris, Tennis AustraliaJordanne Whiley (GBR)
After rain washed out Wednesday's scheduled first day at the Cajun Classic, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, play finally got underway late on the second morning in Baton Rouge, with world No. 1 ranked junior Gustavo Fernandez accounting for the first seeded player to exit the men’s main draw singles.
The Argentinean 18-year-old defeated world No. 11 and eighth seed Frederic Cattaneo of France 75 62 to set up a second round encounter against Britain’s Alex Jewitt, while the pick of the other first round matches also included that between Dutchman Tom Egberink and Joachim Gerard of Belgium. In the event Egberink prevailed 62 75 to avenge his loss to Gerard in last weekend’s final of the Bavarian Indoor Open.
The only three set match in the first round of the men’s singles came in the all-Australian match between Ben Weekes and Adam Kellerman. After beating former world No. 1 Robin Ammerlaan of Netherlands on home soil in Australia in January, as expected Kellerman provided a strong challenge for Weekes, but Weekes eventually pulled through 62 46 62 to set up a second round meeting with Dutch fourth seed Ronald Vink.
Meanwhile, defending champion Nicolas Peifer of France eased to a 60 61 victory over Japan’s Mamoru Iwata in his first match of this year’s tournament and the third seed goes on to face Sweden’s Peter Vikstrom.
World No.1 Maikel Scheffers also made comfortable start against another Japanese opponent, defeating Japan’s Masahiro Honma 61 61. Scheffers faces another Japanese opponent in Friday’s second round, but is likely to face a tougher task against the improving Takuya Miki.
Scheffers’ match against Miki is one of several intriguing second round matches, which also included Michael Jeremiasz’s contest against Gordon Reid. After his four successive tournament wins in Australia in January, Jeremiasz extended his unbeaten sequence with a 6-2, 6-1 first round win in Baton Rouge against American Jon Rydberg.
Whiley reaches women’s singles quarterfinals
As the sun replaced the rain Baton Rouge, two rounds of women’s singles matches were completed to arrive at the quarterfinal line-up, which will include unseeded Briton Jordanne Whiley.
With all eight women’s seeds having first round byes, the first round passed with few surprises, Maria Antonieta Ortiz of Chile securing one of the early wins as she defeated her compatriot Francisca Mardones 62 62. Meanwhile, Whiley eased to a 62 61 victory over American junior Shelby Baron.
What the first round did was set up a number of fascinating second round matches and Whiley came out on top in one of them as she defeated German eighth seed Katharina Kruger 62 46 64. Whiley faces Dutch world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen in the last eight after Griffioen marked her seasonal reappearance on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour with a 62 61 victory over Austria’s Henriett Koosz.
Elsewhere, there was little to separate seventh seed Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa and Korea’s Ju-Yeon Park in the first two sets of their second round match, but Montjane dominated the final set to prevail 57 64 61. With both of the tournament’s Korean entrants in the top quarter of the draw, Myung-Hee Hwang also won through to the second round, before being halted 60 61 by Dutch top seed and world No. 2 Aniek van Koot, who goes on to face Montjane in the quarterfinals.
Fifth seed Annick Sevenans of Belgium was given a tough time by American Emmy Kaiser, but Sevenans held on to win 75 63 and progresses to a quarterfinal against fourth seed Sabin Ellerbrock of Germany, who eased past Ortiz 62 60.
Sharon Walraven began her women’s singles title defence with a 61 62 victory over Japan’s Yumiko Inoue and will meet her compatriot and third seed Marjolein Buis. With Britain’s Lucy Shuker playing only her second tournament of the season, world No. 4 Buis saw off the challenge of the former world No. 7 62 64.
Lapthorne survives Hard test in quad singles
British second seed Andrew Lapthorne found his first round quad singles opponent hard in name and in competition as the world No. 4 survived a stern challenge from Swedish world No. 7 Anders Hard to prevail 76(6) 46 63.
Lapthorne is likely to have another tough challenge in the second round against another Swedish opponent after Marcus Jonsson, the winner of the Prague Cup Czech Indoor title in his last tournament of 2011, started his 2012 campaign with a 61 63 victory over Japan’s Takahiro Koga.
South Africa’s Lucas Sithole was involved in a fascinating first round match against Japan’s Shota Kawano before eventually securing a hard won 76(8) 63 victory and will go on to face American third seed Nick Taylor.
Taylor won one of two all-American quad singles matches on the first round, defeating world No 9 Bryan Barten 61 62, while top seed and defending champion David Wagner swept past his countryman Marc McLean 60 61. World No. 2 Wagner plays Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi in the quarterfinals after Moroishi eased past his compatriot Takashi Nagaoki 60 61.
Jamie Burdekin joins Lapthorne in giving Britain double representation in the quarterfinals after defeating Canada’s Gary Luker 63 61. The fourth seed will play Adrian Dieleman of Canada or American Greg Hasterok in the last eight.