20 Jul 2012

Quad and women's finalists decided at British Open

Match Report

Photo: James Jordan PhotographyJamie Burdekin (GBR)

Jamie Burdekin secured the outstanding result on the fourth day of the British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, when he defeated world No. 1 David Wagner as the finalists in the quad singles and quad singles were decided at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Burdekin, one of several Britons to have upset higher ranked players so far this week at the fifth Super Series tournament of the year, will play Israel’s Noam Gershony in the final after Gershony beat Britain’s world No. 4 Andrew Lapthorne in the other semifinal.

Meanwhile, the world’s top two players will contest Saturday’s women’s singles final after Esther Vergeer and Aniek van Koot won their respective semifinals in straight sets.

Burdekin upsets world No. 1 Wagner

On a day when rain meant that all the quad and women’s semifinals were played indoors, World No. 5 Burdekin came from behind in the opening set against Wagner to take a narrow 4-3 lead in their semifinal, but the American top seed and two-time British Open champion edged the set 7-5.

Burdekin took a 5-1 lead in the second set, and although Wagner again came back to level it a 5-5 it was Burdekin’s turn to take the last two games and after seeing three set point disappear he eventually forced a decider.

The Briton, who reached his first Super Series final last month at the BNP Paribas French Open, again built a commanding 5-2 lead in the final set and finally wrapped up a 57 75 63 victory for his first career win over Wagner.

“I am absolutely ecstatic over that win. I have never beaten Wagner before but I have been working so hard with my team and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I was in with a chance of winning,” said Burdekin. “That game at 5-5 in the second set to go 6-5 up was massive.”

Before an emotional victory for Burdekin, Gershony put in a solid performance in what was an emotional day for him.

Exactly six years after the helicopter accident in which he was injured, Gershony reached the British Open final on his debut at the tournament. In a rematch of the 2011 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters quad final Gershony won three of the last four games in the opening set and the last two games of the second set to seal a 63 64 victory over Lapthorne.

“It was a close match, I expected it to be a close match, Andy is a very good player and he keeps getting better,” said Gershony. “It was important for me to keep the pressure on him today, because when he gets on top he can race away. But when he plays more defensively I can control the point. I’ve heard so much about the tournament, so it’s great to be in the final.”

Van Koot and Vergeer reach women's final

World No. 2 van Koot earned the first of the places in the women’s singles final after beating her doubles partner and world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen 62 75.

“The first set was amazing, I played at a really good level, which for me is a big step forward,” said van Koot. “But in the second set Jiske played well and I got quite nervous on the serve. I don’t know where it came from and once I could get into the rally I knew it was going to be good. I had confidence in my strokes, but not my serve, so I went 5-3 down.

“But then Jiske started making more mistakes and I found a way to get my serves in, I don’t know how. But I won the last four games in a row for the second day in a row and I’m looking forward to my first British Open final.”

In the other women’s semifinal Esther Vergeer put herself just one game way from a possible 12th successive British Open final as she beat Germany’s world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock 62 61.

Vergeer quickly took a 5-0 lead, but Ellerbrock hit a succession of winners to take the sixth game before making it 5-2. However, Ellerbrock was to win just one more game as Vergeer set up an all-Dutch final.

“My aim was to make her push and then I think I have a better chance of winning the points, so that’s what I tried to do. Towards the end of the first set she played some good games, but I’m happy with how I played and to be in the final,” said Vergeer.

The women’s doubles finalists were also decided on the fourth day, as the top two seeded Dutch pairings reached what will be a rematch of the Wimbledon final three weeks ago.

Tops seeds Marjolein Buis and Vergeer defeated Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa and Britain’s Lucy Shuker 62 61 in their semifinal, while, Wimbledon champions Griffioen and van Koot beat German fourth seeds Ellerbrock and Katharina Kruger 62 62.

Meanwhile, the men’s doubles semifinals will be without two of the four seeded partnerships. After beating Dutch third seeds Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers in the first round, Beijing Paralympic silver medallists Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom of Sweden reached the last four after beating Adam Kellerman of Australia and Satoshi Saida of Japan 61 62.

In the top half of the draw, Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Takuya Miki defeated fourth seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Nicolas Peifer of France 62 61 in their quarterfinal. Kunieda and Miki play French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz.

British Open Draws

Order of Play - Saturday, 21 July 2012