Photo: Philippe BuissinSatoshi Saida (JPN)
Defending champions Satoshi Saida and Yui Kamiji both made confident starts in the men’s and women’s singles at the 2012 Peace Cup, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, which got underway on Thursday, with last year’s men’s second draw singles winner Yoshinobu Tanaka also progressing alongside the four seeds in the men’s main draw event in Hiroshima.
Second seed Saida beat Takashi Tsumagara 61 64 to set up second round match against Tanaka, who came through the closest match of the day in the men’s main draw after edging out Satoshi Muguruma 62 46 64
There was another exciting encounter in the top half of the draw as Yoshikuni Shibayama edged out Shinichi Nakamuta 75 64 and Shibayama will now play world No. 11 and top seed Takashi Sanada, the runner-up to Saida in 2011, who opening his campaign this year by dropping just two games to Masato Yoneda.
The most comfortable wins on the first day belonged to third seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto and Takashi Hirate, who will now meet each other for a place in the semifinals after dropping just one game apiece in the first round.
In the women’s singles world No. 11 and top seed Kamiji beat Chiyoko Ohmae 60 62 after Ohmae had earlier joined Naomi Ishimoto in winning the only two matches needed to complete the line-up for the last 16.
Ishimoto was one of only two women’s players to have to go to three sets as the ITF 2 Series tournament got underway when she beat Chika Shigesada 36 61 62, but Ishimoto’s progress was then halted by second seed Kanako Domori, who moved into the quarterfinals 61 63.
But the outstanding women’s match on the opening day ended with Chiharu Imaizumi edging out Kaori Nakagawa 64 36 75, with Imaizumi earning herself a match against Kamiji,
Third see Miho Nijo and Yumi Sugiyama will contest one of the other two quarterfinals, while the only non-Japanese player, Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Yi Lu will face Yumiko Inoue.
As the quad singles semifinal line-up was decided, 2011 runner-up Tzu-Hsuan Huang of Chinese Taipei eased into the last four again after defeating Hiroshi Toma 64 60.
Top seed Mitsuteru Moroishi and Norihiko Yamamoto both booked their semifinal spots without dropping a game, with Moroishi now set to face Shinichi Hirata and Yamamoto playing Huang for a place in the final. Should Huang and Moroishi both justify their seeded positions and reach the final they will face a rematch of their semifinal last year.
Peace Cup Draws and Results