Photo: Belgian OpenBelgian Open
Two days after winning the first Super Series title of his career at the British Open, new world No. 4 Joachim Gerard started his own country’s most prestigious tournament on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour in style when he became the first player to reach the men’s singles quarterfinals at the ITF 1 Series Belgian Open in Namur.
Twenty-four year-old Gerard, who has moved up two places in this week’s rakings to achieve another career high after his success in Nottingham, beat young Dutchman Carlos Anker 61 60 to reach the last eight. He will now play Austria’s Dan Kleckner or his compatriot and doubles partner Mike Denayer, the player Gerard once teamed up with to help Belgium win back-to-back World Team Cup junior titles in 2005 and 2006.
While Gerard progressed from the last 16, another of his countrymen, Kristof Michils filled one of the three available places in the second round after securing a 62 75 win in his all-Belgian match against Ivan Kindt. Frenchmen Pascal Chessel and Laurent Everaert complete the last 16 line-up.
The bottom half of the quad singles draw saw American fourth seed Greg Hasterok, Britain’s Antony Cotterill and Italy’s Giuseppe Polidori all drop just four games as they booked their places in the last eight, where Cotterill will take on second seed Anders Hard of Sweden and Hasterok will play Polidori.
Like Hard, top seed David Wagner had a first round bye. World No. 1 Wagner will open his quad singles title defence against Sophie Fraioli of France after Fraioli secured an opening straight sets win along with third seed Sarah Hunter of Canada and Italy’s Marco Innocenti.
There were another five straight sets wins in the women’s singles, as fourth seed Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa and Japan’s Miho Mijo move forward to a quarterfinal clash, while Chile’s Francisca Mardones and Pauline Helouin of France also reached the last eight. Michaela Spaanstra set up an all-Dutch last 16 match against third seed Marjolein Buis, with the winner set to face Mardones for a place in the semifinals.
Belgian Open Latest Draws and Results