18 Jan 2013

Scheffers, Walraven in Melbourne fight backs

Match Report

Photo: Philippe BuissinMaikel Scheffers (NED)

World No. 3 Maikel Scheffers was forced into making a stirring first set comeback on Friday at the Melbourne Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, before the Dutchman went on to reach the men’s singles semifinals in straight sets.

With the players having to contend with windy conditions on the second day of the ITF 2 Series tournament, Australia’s Ben Weekes took a commanding 5-2 first set lead against Scheffers, but the world No. 3 ranked Dutchman fought back to prevail 75 62.

Scheffers will play world No. 6 ranked Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz in the semifinals after defending champion Jeremiasz clinched his 60 60 victory over an Australian player in successive days as he eased past Stephan Rochecouste.

Britain’s world No. 8 Gordon Reid survived a tough examination from Australia’s Adam Kellerman in their quarterfinal. Reid eventually pulled through 76 63 in a match lasting exactly two hours and will come up against 18-year-old Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina in another enticing semifinal after Fernandez moved comfortably past Thomas Mossier 63 60.

With Kellerman and Weekes now out of the Melbourne Open, their next challenge is to face each other in a play-off to decide the one available wildcard place for next week’s Australian Open Wheelchair Championships at Melbourne Park, the first Grand Slam of the year.

Walraven recovers to beat Park

World No. 6 Sharon Walraven was taken to three sets by Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park for just the second time in ten matches between the two players before Walraven managed to become the third Dutch player in the women’s single semifinals.

With Park having only beaten Walraven once previously, back in 2009, the Korean player made a fine start in Melbourne before Walraven edged the last two sets to advance 36 64 63.

Walraven’s victory ensures that there will be a Dutch finalist as she now faces world No. 2 Aniek van Koot, who dropped just one game in the first set of her quarterfinal against Australia’s Luba Josevski.

In the bottom half of the women’s draw Jiske Griffioen and Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany will meet for the third time this season, with honours in 2013 between the two players currently even.

World No. 3 Ellerbrock extended her win-loss record against South Africa’s world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane to 4-1 after winning their Melbourne quarterfinal 63 61, while Griffioen continued her bid for back-to-back NEC Tour titles after defeating Britain’s world No. 7 Lucy Shuker 62 62.

Griffioen beat Ellerbrock earlier in the week in the final of the Sydney International to win the first Super Series title of the year, while Ellerbrock got the better of Griffioen in the final of the first tournament of the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the Adelaide Open.

The start of the round-robin matches in the quad singles produced a comfortable victory for Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain as the world No. 4 eased past John Savinov 60 60.