Photo: James Jordan PhotographyAniek van Koot (NED)
The world’s top two players, Sabine Ellerbrock and Aniek van Koot, will contest Saturday’s women’s singles final at the 24th British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Meanwhile, the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles finalists were also decided on Friday’s fourth day at the fifth Super Series event of the year.
World No. 1 Ellerbrock, the only one of the four women’s singles semifinalists not to hail from the Netherlands, beat world No. 4 Marjolein Buis 64 62 to reach her first British Open final.
Ellerbrock took the lead for the first time in the match at 3-2, but the two players were level at 4-4 after the first eight games before Ellerbrock gained the breakthrough she needed. The German top seed went on to build a 5-1 second set lead before completing victory.
“I felt more comfortable on the court today than yesterday and I served better, so I’m very happy with my win to get to my first Britishm Open final,” said Ellerbrock. “I know what I have to do with my tactics against Aniek, so know I have to execute it. I always know that I have to go high risk when I play her.”
Van Koot, runner-up last year, reached her second British Open final after defeating her doubles partner, world No. 3 and former runner-up Jiske Griffioen, 76(0), 61.
Griffioen and van Koot exchanged breaks of serve throughout the opening set as it came down to a tiebreak, which van Koot raced through without dropping a point. After that the world No. 2 dropped just the third game of the second set.
“I didn’t think I could pull it off today because Jiske is a very tough opponent, so I’m delighted to be in the final again,” said van Koot. “It was a really intense battle at the start and I’m really pleased that I managed to stay calm in the tiebreak. Tomorrow I’m just going to play it point by point. You don’t get the chance to win a British Open final all the time, so I’m just going to go for it.”
Men's, women's and mixed doubles finalists decided
Saturday’s men’s doubles final will be between the top two seeded partnerships. Top seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands held off a strong challenge from British fourth seeds Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid, but Houdet and Vink eventually held on for a 76(4) 76(4) victory.
They will now play second seeds Michael Jeremiasz and Maikel Scheffers after the French-Dutch pairing defeated Frenchman Frederic Cattaneo and Belgium’s Joachim Gerard 61, 64.
Also on Saturday’s penultimate day of play world No. 2 Houdet faces world No. 4 Reid in the men’s singles semifinals, while fifth seed Gerard will take on Jeremiasz.
Dutch defending champions Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot came from 5-3 down in the second set of their women’s doubles semifinal to beat the fourth seeds, Ellerbrock and Britain’s Louise Hunt 62 75. Top seeds and two-time Wimbledon champions Griffioen and van Koot will play third seeds Marjolein Buis and Kgothatso Montjane in the final after Dutchwoman Buis and South Africa’s Montjane overcame second seeds Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley 62 63.
There will be an all-British mixed doubles final on Saturday after David Phillipson partnered Louise Hunt to beat the second seeds in their semifinal. Phillipson and Hunt won their second championship tiebreak in successive days to defeat Japan’s Satoshi Saida and Miho Nijo 26 64 (10-8).
Phillipson and Hunt face top seeds Marc McCarroll and Jordanne Whiley in the final after McCarroll and Whiley beat South African top seeds Lucas Sithole and Kgothatso Montjane 60 75.
The fourth day of the 24th British Open included a visit from Judy Murray, who inspired a group of disabled youngsters in a community taster session involving wheelchair tennis and learning disabled players, aided by world No. 1 quad singles and doubles player David Wagner and Britain’s Lauren Jones.