Photo: James Jordan PhotographyAsaaf Stokol (ISR)
Israel’s Asaaf Stokol and Italy’s Monica Quassinti both came through three set matches as the last 16 players were decided in both the men’s singles and women’s singles on the first day of the Sardinia Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
As the event voted the Tournament of the Year for 2012 on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour started its 14th edition at Alghero Tennis Centre, Stokol eventually beat Belgium’s Kristof Michils 62 36 62 to set up a second round match against seventh seed and former Sardinia Open champion Martin Legner of Austria.
Legner was one of six players to secure 60 60 wins as all the main protagonists eased through their first round matches.
Third seed and defending champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium and second seed Stephane Houdet and fourth seed Michael Jeremiasz of France also progressed without dropping a game. Jeremiasz will play Poland’s Jerzy Kulik, whose 60 60 win over Patrice Meyer of France saw him become the only unseeded player to not drop a single game among the 16 first round matches.
World No. 1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan dropped just one game as he beat Italy’s Luciano Grande. Kunieda faces Sweden’s Dan Wallin for a place in the quarterfinals. World No. 4 and third seed Gerard opened his title defence against Italy’s Antonio Moretto and moves on to an all-Belgian second round match against Mike Denayer. After Houdet beat Italian No.1 Fabian Mazzei, it’s left to 24-year-old Ivan Lion to carry Italian hopes in the second round of the men’s singles.
There were just three first round matches needed in the women’s singles and the comeback of the day belonged to Quassinti, who put a slow start firmly behind her as she fought back to beat Israel’s Veronika Zvik 16 62 62.
There was better news for Israel in the women’s singles as Inna Mashkovsky gained the breaks that made all the difference in both sets of her match against Denmark’s Malene Olsesen. Mashkovsky advanced 64 64 to earn a second round match against British sixth seed Louise Hunt.
But there were no scares for Switzerland’s Gabriela Buehler, who eased to a 60 60 win over Italy’s Paola Demartini. Buehler faces Italian fourth seed Marianna Lauro next, while world No. 2 Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany opens her title defence against Italy’s Stefania Galletti.
Sardinia Open Draws and Latest Order of Play