Photo: Philippe BuissinSabine Ellerbrock (GER)
The top seeds will contest Saturday’s men’s and women’s singles finals at the Queensland Open, the first tournament of the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after crowds of up to 500 people watched Friday’s semifinals at Queensland Tennis Australia.
With the ITF 2 Series tournament taking place alongside the Brisbane International for the second day in succession, there were plenty of interested spectators to witness to closely fought men’s singles semifinals.
Ultimately, Austrian top seed Martin Legner just managed to stay on top against Australian third seed Adam Kellerman, while Australian No. 2 and second seed Ben Weekes held on to defeat fourth seed Eliphas Maripa of Australia 63 64.
Weekes will now face Legner for the 17th time in their careers, with the Australia’s top ranked player looking for his first win over Legner. However, the last time they met was in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Queensland Open, when Weekes took the first set before Legner went on to prevail 36 64 60.
Ellerbrock to face Griffioen in women’s final
The first women’s singles final of the year will feature the word’s No. 3 and No. 4 ranked players and will be a rematch of the London 2012 Paralympic women’s singles bronze medal match between Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands, who both beat Australian players in their semifinals.
Griffioen, the 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, defeated Janel Manns 60 61, while after a first round bye top seed and defending champion Ellerbrock started her 2013 campaign with a 60 60 win over Luba Josevski, the player that Griffioen beat in the Queensland final in 2010.
“Les Killer, Tournament Referee, did a great job scheduling today to ensure a large crowd was on hand to watch Australia's best wheelchair tennis players in action,” said Greg Crump, Australia’s National Wheelchair Tennis Coach.
“Ben Weekes played some of his best tennis to take down South African Evans Maripa in straight sets, while the Australia women played well against much stronger opposition. Ben will have to keep up his good form if he is going to take down veteran Martin Legner in the final tomorrow.”
Queensland Open Tournament Director Warwick Nicol, said: “It is great to see great crowds watching great wheelchair tennis in a great arena.”
Ellerbrock has already lifted the women’s doubles title after she partnered Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park to another comfortable win in the second of their two round-robin matches. Ellerbrock and Park beat the all-Australian duo of Sarah Calati and Josevski 60 60.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles semifinals Australia’s Adam Kellerman and Legner beat Thomas Mossier of Austria and Germany’s Steffen Sommerfeld 61 62.
The top seeds will now play second seeds Oh-Chee and Weekes in the final after the Australian partnership edged out South Africa’s Leon Els and Maripa 64 76.