Yui Kamiji produced the outstanding result of the third day at the Pensacola Open, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, when the 17-year-old Japanese world No. 7 defeated world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands to progress to the women’s singles semifinals.
Eighth seed Kamiji edged to a 63 76(5) victory, her first win over Griffioen after taking the Dutchwoman to three close sets at last year’s Japan Open. After reaching her first ITF 1 Series semifinal at last year’s Korea Open and then going on to win her first ITF 1 Series title a week later at the Daegu Open, Kamiji’s third semifinal at this level will be against world No. 1 Esther Vergeer.
Vergeer had few problems in wining her quarterfinal against her fellow Dutchwoman Sharon Walraven 61 60 and will be one of three Dutch players in the semifinals after Aniek van Koot and Marjolein Buis both progressed in the bottom half of the draw to guarantee that there will be at least one Dutch finalist on Sunday.
World No. 2 Van Koot produced what she described on Twitter as ‘one of my best matches so far this season’ after sweeping past Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock 61 60. Meanwhile, fourth seed Buis defeated Belgian sixth seed Annick Sevenans 63 62.
Scheffers edged to semifinal win over Reid
World No. 1 Maikel Scheffers progressed to the men’s singles semifinals after coming from behind in the deciding set of his quarterfinal against Gordon Reid to avoid his third loss to the unseeded Briton since last August.
The last NEC Tour match between the two players, at last October’s Nottingham Indoor, ended with Reid winning in three tiebreak sets, and that pattern continued in Pensacola as Scheffers snatched the first set on a tiebreak before Reid replied in kind in the second set. Reid led the third set before Scheffers gained a break to snatch a narrow advantage and the top seed went on to secure a 76(6) 67(2) victory after three hours and 11 minutes in what he described as ’a really good match’.
Scheffers takes on his fellow Dutchman and fourth seed Ronald Vink in the semifinals after Vink proved to be strong for Swedish world No. 8 Stefan Olsson in their quarterfinal, advancing to the last eight 62 62.
Sunday’s final is guaranteed to feature one Dutchman and one Frenchman after all four top seeds reached the semifinals, with Nicolas Peifer set to take on world No. 2 Stephane Houdet in the last four.
World No. 5 Peifer largely dominated his quarterfinal against unseeded Australian Adam Kellerman to win 62 61, while Houdet inflicted just the second defeat of 2012 on Michael Jeremiasz to win the other all-French quarterfinal 62 75.
South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane and Sevenans will feature alongside three of the four seeded partnerships in the women’s doubles semifinals.
Montjane and Sevenans beat third seed Buis and Kamiji 64 62 in their quarterfinal and will now face defending champions Vergeer and Walraven.
Saturday’s penultimate day of play will also feature the resumption of the quad singles as Brits Jamie Burdekin and Peter Norfolk meet in one semifinal and world No. 2 David Wagner and world No. 3 Noam Gershony meet in the other semifinal.