Photo: Reg CaldecottEliphas Maripa (RSA)
A week after reaching the semifinals of the ACSA South African Open, Eliphas Maripa again upset the seedings to reach the last four of the ACSA Gauteng Open, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Benoni.
Meanwhile, with the host nation still having players in each of the men's, women's and quad singles, top seed Lucas Sithole is set to face Italian second seed Marco Innocenti in the quad final. Kgothatso Montjane is among the women's semifinalists, along with Japan's Kanako Domori, who upset German third seed Katharina Kruger.
Seventh seed Maripa edged out fourth seed Daniel Rodrigues of Brazil 36 64 63 in the men's singles quarterfinals on third day of play and will face Australian second seed Ben Weekes in the semi finals.
Weekes won his quarterfinal against Brazilian fifth seed Rafael Medeiros 61 61, the same score by which fourth seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto set up an all-Japanese semifinal in the top half of the draw. Top seed Takashi Sanada will play Fujimoto after defeating South African sixth seed Sydwell Mathonsi 61 64..
Sithole to play Innocenti in quad singles final
The semifinals of the quad singles produced two fascinating contests as world No. 9 Lucas Sithole and world No. 10 Marco Innocenti clinched two hard won victories to reach the title decider.
Sithole beat Malaysia's Azman Hasan 63 63 in his semfinal, while second seed Innocenti survived an even closer match against his fellow Italian Giuseppe Polidori to progess 75 63 and the two players will now go head-to-head for the first time on the NEC Tour.
Domori joins women's semifinalists
Fifth seed Kanako Domori made a confident start to her women's singles quarterfinal against third seed Katharina Kruger of Germany. Although Kruger fought back to threaten to take the match to a deciding set, Domori held on to prevail 61 75 to earn just her second win over Kruger in six attempts.
Domori will play second seed Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands in the semifinals after Walraven's 63 61 victory over Brazil's Natalia Mayara.
In the top half of the draw Sabine Ellerbrock remained on course for back-to-back victories in South Africa. The world No. 5 and top seed eased to a 61 61 victory over French sixth seed Christine Schoenn and will now face home favourite and fourth seed Kgothatso Montjane, who came through her quarterfinal against seventh seed Francisca Mardones of Chile 60 63.
Ellerbrock and Montjane have met just once before on the NEC Tour and that was also in South Africa, when Ellerbrock won the first of her two South African titles in a final set tiebreak.