The only one of last year’s men’s singles quarterfinalists to contest this year’s Sardinia Open, Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, has eased into the last eight of this week’s ITF 1 Series event on the NEC wheelchair Tennis Tour again after all eight seeds maintained their challenges on Wednesday’s second day of play.
Top seed Gerard, who is bidding to follow up his victory at last week’s Open de L’Ile de Re, joined third seed Martin Legner of Austria in dropping just one game in the last 16 in Alghero. While Gerard will meet eighth seed Laszlo Farkas of Hungary as the world No. 10 bids to reach the semifinals for the second successive year, Legner will go head-to-head with fifth seed Tadeusz Kruszelnicki of Poland for the 59th time on the NEC Tour since they first met in 1996.
Kruszelnicki beat Sweden’s Joakim Larsson and sixth seed Babian Mazzei of Italy beat his compatriot Ivan Lion by the same 61 61 scoreline, while the two French quarterfinals, second seed Frederic Cattaneo and seventh seed Lahcen Majdi both secured their round matches 60 63.
Majdi will face fourth seed Ben Weekes of Australia and Gerard will play Farkas each for the sixth time, but in stark contrast to the long rivalry between Legner and Kruszelnicki, Cattaneo and Mazzei’s quarterfinal will be just the fourth time the two players have met.
While Legner is the only previous men’s champion in with a chance of lifting this year’s title in Sardinina, the women’s singles semifinals will feature three former champion - defending champion Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, second seed Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands and Switzerland’s Karin Suter.
Ellerbrock opened her title defence with a 61 60 win over Italy’s Monica Quassinti, but Italian hopes remain after Ellerbrock’s semifinal opponent Marianna Lauro beat Silva de Maria 61 62.
Walraven and Suter also dropped just three games apiece as they booked their places in the other semifinal and with Walraven being the only non-Swiss player left in the bottom of the women’s draw she beat Gabriela Buehler 61 62, while Super eased past Parmila Grangier 62 61.
The semifinal line-up was also decided for the quad singles as Christer Jansson beat his fellow Swede Petter Edstrom 61 62 to book his place in the last four against top seed Antonio Raffaele of Italy. Meanwhile, Canada’s Sarah Hunter beat Markus Wallner 62 63 and Hunter will now face another Austrian opponent for a place in the final when she takes on second seed Peter Tatschl.
Sardnia Open Draws, Results and Order of Play