Annick Sevenans (BEL) and Lucy Shuker (GBR)
There were few surprises on Wednesday’s first day of round-robin matches at the 2012 Invacare Doubles Masters in Amsterdam, although the second seeds in the women’s doubles lost out in their opening contest of the week.
Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands, who partnered Esther Vergeer to win the women’s doubles gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, partners Invacare Doubles Masters debutante Louise Hunt of Great Britain at the Frans Otten Stadium in Amsterdam after Vergeer’s withdrawal from the event.
Despite Buis being the world No. 1 ranked women’s doubles player this week and her and Hunt’s combined doubles ranking making them the second seeded partnership, they came up against the reigning Belgian Open champions Annick Sevenans of Belgium and Lucy Shuker of Great Britain in their opening match and the more experience partnership.
Sevenans and Shuker quickly established a 3-0 lead in their Pool 2 match, but Buis and Hunt twice came from a break down to trail by just a single game at 3-2 and 5-4 before Sevenans and Shuker eventually clinched a long tenth game.
From 4-1 and 5-2 down in the second set Buis and Hunt had game points to make it 5-3, but Sevenans and Shuker eventually held on in a tight match to win 64 62 on their first match point.
“It was a really enjoyable match and it’s an honour to play with Annick in her final tournament,” said Shuker, who is playing her sixth and final even with Sevenans, who is due to retire at the end of the Invacare Doubles Masters.
Top seeds and Wimbledon champions Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot began their bid to go one better than their runners-up spot at the 2011 Invacare Doubles Masters when they eased past Katharina Kruger of Germany and Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain 61 61 in the day’s only Pool 1 women’s match..
Kruger and Whiley won the first game of the match, but Griffioen and van Koot then put together a sequence of eleven successive games en route to wrapping up victory in an hour and 22 minutes. Griffioen and van Koot will now play fourth seeds Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands, with Buis and Hunt facing Roland Garros runners-up and third seeds Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Yui Kamiji of Japan.
Men’s top seeds ease through
Two-time Grand Slam champions Stephane Houdet and Shingo Kunieda made a great start to their first men’s Pool 1 match together since 2010 as they defeated French duo David Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi 60 60.
After Dalmasso and Majdi lost the opening game without winning a point, they took Houdet and Kunieda to deuce twice. However, they were unable to get on the scoreboard and Majdi had his serve broken to love as the fourth seeds clinched the first set before going on to a comfortable victory that sets them up for a enticing match on Thursday against top seeds Michael Jeremiasz of France and Stefan Olsson of Sweden.
Jeremiasz and Olsson took the first set of their match against Martin Legner of Austria and Peifer and Peifer for the loss of just four points. The second set was much closer as Legner and Peifer came from 3-1 down to lead 4-3, but they eventually lost four of the last five games as Jeremiasz and Olsson sealed victory in an hours and 17 minutes
After dropping the first game of their men’s Pool 2 match against Frederic Cattaneo of France and Joachim Gerard of Belgium, second seeds Reid and Vink secured a double break before losing the next three games, leaving the set in the balance at 4-4. However, Reid and Vink dominated the remainder of the match, taking the last eight games to secure a 64 60 victory.
Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers eased through their match against Poland’s Kruszelnicki and Great Britain’s Marc McCarroll 61 61.
Kruszelnicki and McCarroll broke Egberink’s serve in the second game of the opening set and the broke Scheffers’ serve to start the second set, but those were their major highlights as Egberink, who partnered Jeremiasz to win the Invacare Doubles Masters in 2011, served out the final game to love.
Reid and Vink will now Egberink and Scheffers in Thursday’s second set of round-robin matches.
Taylor and Wagner open title defence with win
Five-time Invacare Doubles Masters champions Nick Taylor and David Wagner of USA opened their quad doubles title defence with a 60 75 victory over Anders Hard and Marc Jonsson of Sweden.
A series of doubles faults from Hard helped give top seeds Taylor and Wagner the first game and they went on to win the first seven games of the match before their Swedish opponents finally got on the scoreboard in the second game of the second set and went on to lead 2-1, 3-2 and 5-4 before Taylor won the last three games of the match.
Raffaele Weinberg exchanged a series of breaks with Innocenti and Polidori in the first six games of the match, but a run of three straight games at the end of the first set and four games in a row to build a 5-1 lead in the second set proved decisive for Raffaele and Weinberg as they recorded a 63 62 victory.
Taylor and Wagner will now play Raffaele and Weinberg.