Photo: Roy Smiljanic PhotographyMichael Jeremiasz (FRA)
Saturday’s men’s singles semifinals will be without either of the top two seeds after Michael Jeremiasz beat his fellow Frenchman and world No. 1 Stephane Houdet on Thursday at the British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, while Britain’s Gordon Reid also booked his place in his first Super Series semifinal at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Jeremiasz came from 5-2 down in the opening set of his quarterfinal against Houdet to take it on a tiebreak, but Houdet built a 4-0 lead in the second set and maintained his advantage to level the contest.
With Jeremiasz 3-1 up in the decider he called for the trainer after having problems with a contact lens. On the resumption Houdet came back to level the final set at 4-4 and subsequently saved two match points before double faulting on the third match point against him to give Jeremiasz a 76(4) 26 64 victory.
“It was in Australia at the start of the year that I last beat Stephane, but he has beaten me every time since then, so I’m very happy to get the win today,” said Jeremiasz. “It was a very close and intense match, since we know each other’s games so well, but Stephane made more mistakes than me today and I’m pleased to be in the semifinals.”
Jeremiasz will play another former world No. 1, Shingo Kunieda of Japan, in the semifinals after the world No. 3 powered past Japan Open champion Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina 60 60.
“The first game was very important as we had lots of deuces, but the rest of the match went very fast,” said Kunieda. “I watched him (Fernandez) at the Japan Open and I knew that here was a new star of wheelchair tennis, but I was really pleased to play him as he okays fast, which i like, and I knew it would be a good match. I was thinking about the game a lot last night and couldn’t sleep until 3.00am.”
A day after beating world No. 2 and defending champion Maikel Scheffers, it was Joachim Gerard’s turn to exit the British Open on the third day of play after he lost in straight sets to world No. 10 Reid.
The Briton secured the first set for the loss of just one game and after edging a deuce game in the third game of the second set he eased into a 5-0 lead. However, Gerard took the next three games before Reid served for the match for the second time and the Belgian sent a backhand long over Reid’s baseline to give the Scottish player a 61 63 victory.
“I was playing really well until I got nervous in the second set, but it’s great to reach my first Super Series semifinal and to do it at the British Open, where I had some great crowd support.”
Reid will face Dutch world No. 4 Ronald Vink in the last four after Vink prevented an all-British semifinal line-up with a 64 63 win over David Phillipson.
Top four seeds reach women's semifinals
All four seeds will contest Friday’s women’s singles semifinals despite brief dips in form by world No. 2 Aniek van Koot and world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock.
Van Koot avenged her Japan Open loss to Kgothatso Montjane after looking likely to lose the second set.
“I still had the match in Japan in my head when I went on court and after losing to her there, I very nearly did it again, but won the last four games of second set and can now look forward to the semifinals,” said van Koot, after eventually wrapping up a 63 75 victory.
Van Koot will play world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen in an all-Dutch semifinal after Griffioen wasted little time in beating Australian sixth seed Daniela di Toro 61 61.
However, the most comprehensive quarterfinal victory belonged to world No. 1 Esther Vergeer, who eased past her fellow Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis 60 61.
But things were not quite so comfortable for Germany’s world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock after she dropped the second set of her quarterfinal to Britain’s Lucy Shuker after being a set and a break up.
“I was 4-2 up in the second set and just started hitting the ball too short and Lucy took advantage, In the final set I started to play more aggressive again and it made the difference,” said Ellerbrock after completing a 62 67(2) 61 victory that sets her up with a semifinal against Vergeer.
Apart from the women’s singles semifinals, Friday’s fourth day of play will also feature the quad singles semifinals.
British Open Draws
Order of Play - Friday, 20 July 2012