Photo: Mathilde DusolAntionio Raffaele (ITA)
Second seeds Antonio Raffaele of Italy and Shraga Weinberg of Israel stunned American top seeds and defending quad doubles champions Nick Taylor ad David Wagner of USA on the second day of the 2012 Invacare Doubles Masters in Amsterdam after winning their round-robin match in straight sets.
Meanwhile, three of the four women’s double semifinalists were decided and there was the first three set match of the week in the men’s doubles ahead of a fascinating final set of round-robin matches on Friday.
Raffaele and Weinberg stun Taylor and Wagner
With three of the four players who played in the 2011 final on court, Raffaele and Weinberg edged the opening game, with London 2012 gold medallists Taylor and Wagner not helped by Wagner putting in two double faults in his first service game. Despite some close Raffaele and Weinberg got the better of all the important exchanges as they wrapped up the first set without dropping a game.
Taylor and Wagner broke early in the second set to lead 3-1, but they were far from at their best as Raffaele and Weinberg won the last four games to close out 60 64 victory after an hour and 17 minutes.
Hard and Jonsson were taken to deuce just twice in the opening set and dropped just the sixth game against Innocenti and Polidori as they each served out to love in their last service games of the set.
Innocenti and Polidori led briefly in the second set, but Hard and Jonsson were soon back on top and opened up a decisive 5-3 lead en route to completing their 61 61 victory.
Raffaele and Weinberg play Hard and Jonsson and Taylor and Wagner face Innocenti and Polidori on the crucial last day of the round-robin phase of the competition to decide which to partnerships progress to the final.
“Today me and Shraga played very well. It was the best match of my life, were a very good team on court,” said Raffaele. “The score speaks for itself and to beat the defending champions and Paralympic gold medallists, it something I am savouring right now, because it may never happen again. Especially after me and Dorrie Timmerman lost to them in last year’s final after being ahead at one stage it is very pleasing.”
Griffioen and van Koot earn semifinal berth
Top seeds Griffioen and van Koot made a fine start against fourth seeds Kgothatso Montjane and Sharon Walraven, taking a 4-0 lead and maintaining their advantage of a double break to clinch the first set.
Last year’s runners-up then established a 3-0 second set lead and although Montjane and Walraven retrieved one of the break against them, Griffioen and van Koot reeled off the last three games to record a 62 62 victory that secures their place in the semifinals at the top of Pool 1, with Montjane and Griffioen yet to play Katharina Kruger of Germany and Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain
In women’s Pool 2, Roland Garros runners-up Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Yui Kamiji of Japan won the last five games of their opening set against Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and Britain’s Louise Hunt and the second seeds managed to win just the second and sixth games of the second set as Ellerbrock and Kamiji began their Invacare Doubles Masters debuts with a 61 62 victory.
A second loss in successive days for second seeds Buis and Hunt means that they cannot qualify for the semifinals. That means that Ellerbrock and Kamiji and Annick Sevenans of Belgium and Britain’s Lucy Shuker are already into the last four after each winning their opening matches and they will now play each other to decide which partnership tops their pool.
Houdet and Kunieda overcome top seeds Jeremiasz and Olsson
The first three set match of the week in the men’s single came in Pool 1 as top seeds Michael Jeremiasz of France and Stefan Olsson of Sweden built a 5-1 lead to gain the advantage against fourth seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Shingo Kunieda of Japan..
However, 2010 Australian Open and Roland Garros champion Houdet and Kunieda came from behind to move a break up at 4-1 in the second set and edged a close final game on their fourth match to secure a hard-won 36 63 63 victory.
In the other match in Pool 1, French duo David Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi won just the fifth game of the first set against Martin Legner of Austria and Nicolas Peifer of France, who raced to a 61 60 victory in just 57 minutes.
Houdet and Kunieda play Legner and Peifer in their final pool match, while Jeremiasz and Olsson take on Dalmasso and Majdi.
Second seeds Gordon Reid and Ronald Vink maintained their unbeaten record at the top of men’s Pool 2 after a tremendous performance to beat all-Dutch third seeds Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers 60 63.
The British-Dutch partnership powered through the opening set without Egberink and Scheffers reaching double figures for the number of points they won, Scheffers having his serve broken to love in the fourth game and Reid holding serve to love in the fifth game.
Reid and Vink then won four of the first five games in the second set and despite Reid twice having his serve broken he and Vink completed a comfortable 60 63 victory.
Frederic Cattaneo of France and Joachim Gerard of Belgium registered their first win of the week against Tadeusz Kruszelnicki of Poland and Great Britain’s Marc McCarroll.
Kruszelnicki and Marc McCarroll fought back from 4-1 down to level the opening set 4-4, but Cattaneo and Gerard took the final two games of the set and six games in a row in the second to seal a 64 61 victory.
Reid and Vink now face Kruszelnicki and McCarroll, while Egberink and Sheffers play Cattaneo and Gerard.