The only three women’s singles matches on Wednesday’s first day of the VINCI Czech Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, provided much of the early excitement in Prostejov, while Austria’s Joseph Riegler and Poland’s Pawel Mietrkiewicz also both came through their first round men’s singles matches in deciding sets.
Dutchwoman Michaela Spaanstra claimed one of the day’s most notable results in thrilling circumstances, coming from behind to beat Russia’s world No. 33 Polina Skakirova in a final marathon final set tiebreak.
Spaanstra eventually prevailed 46 75 76(11) to earn a quarterfinal against second seed Bianca Osterer.
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Olena Shyngaryova recovered from a tough first two sets against the Czech Republic’s Ladislava Porizkova to seal a 76(3) 16 62 victory that also earns her a quarterfinal against top seed Katharina Kruger, who leads the German challenge alongside Osterer.
Like Spaanstra, Switzerland’s Simona Rusnak also came from a set down to complete what was a disappointing day for Russia’s junior players. Rusnak defeated Viktoriia Lvova 36 64 62 and will go on to face French third seed Christine Schoenn in the last eight.
Mietrkiewicz and Oh-Chee among early men’s singles winners
The first round of men’s matches saw Mietrkiewicz make light of being ranked almost 80 places lower than his vastly experienced Russian opponent Leonid Shevchik. The Pole fought back from a set down to beat Shevchik 36 62 62 and he will now face his compatriot Piotr Jaroszewski for a place in the quarterfinals.
Riegler dominated the final set against his young countryman Nico Langmann to advance 62 46 60. The Austrian will now become the first opponent of the week for French top seed Frederic Cattaneo, who is bidding for his second ITF 2 Series title in successive weeks after his Polish Open victory.
Australia’s Keegan Oh-Chee and Sven Hiller of Germany also beat higher ranked players in their first round matches, with Oh-Chee denting the Austrian challenge when he beat world No. 32 Thomas Mossier 61 64. However, Oh Chee is now likely to face a much tougher challenge when he takes on another Austrian player, second seed Martin Legner.
Italy's Marco Innocenti and Russia's Konstantin Donskoy opened the quad singles with straight sets wins that went according to the form book, if not the current rankings, as Innocenti beat third seed Peter Tatschl of Austria 60 61 to set up a fascinating semifinal against top seed and defending champion Antony Cotterill of Great Britain.