Photo: Giovanni MinozziJoachim Gerard (BEL)
Shingo Kunieda, Stephane Houdet, Joachim Gerard and Gordon Reid reached the men’s singles semifinals on the second day of the Open de la Baie de Somme, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, while Dutch duo Marjolein Buis and Sharon Walraven reached the women’s doubles final.
World No. 6 Reid caused the day’s only upset in the men’s singles after beating Dutch world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers. Reid edged a close first set, winning just two more points than Scheffers after 10 games, but the Briton was much the better player in the second set as he reeled off six games in a row for a 64 61 victory and his third career win over Scheffers.
Reid will play world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda in Saturday’s semifinal after the Japanese top seed dropped just the fourth game of his quarterfinal against world No. 9 Ronald Vink to seal a 60 61 win after 47 minutes of play in Rue.
In the bottom half of the men’s draw Belgium’s world No. 5 Joachim Gerard opened up a commanding 5-1 first set lead against Frenchman Frederic Cattaneo. Gerard met slightly more resistance in the second set, but still wrapped up a 62 63 win that sees him heading into a semifinal against world No. 2 Stephane Houdet.
Houdet dropped the opening game of his quarterfinal to South Africa’s Evans Maripa, but put together five games in a row en route to taking the first set after just 21 minutes. World No. 15 Maripa was ahead after the first five games of the second set, but Houdet put together another sequence of four successive games to close out a 62 63 victory.
All four singles semifinalists will also meet in Saturday’s men’s doubles final, with top seeds Houdet and Reid set to face Gerard and Kunieda.
Buis and Walraven beat second seeds in women’s doubles
Saturday’s women’s doubles final will be between Germany and Netherlands.
With Sabine Ellerbrock and Katharina Kruger having a bye into the final, Marjolein Buis and Sharon Walraven teamed up to win their semifinal against the second seeds.
Buis and Walraven took a 5-3 first set lead against their fellow Dutchwoman Jiske Griffioen and Britain’s Louise Hunt and although Griffioen and Hunt had their chances to level the set at 5-5 it was Buis and Walraven that seized the initiative.
A tense second set saw Griffioen and Hunt take a 2-0 lead, but after five games they were behind and eventually battled back from 5-4 down to lead 6-5. Nevertheless, Buis and Walraven forced a tiebreak and eventually prevailed 64 76(6).
De la Puente eyes second junior title
Spain’s Martin de la Puente remained in pole position to win the junior singles in Rue for the second successive year after winning both of his matches on the second day of play with relative ease.
De la Puente defeated Rafail Patronidis of Greece 60 60 and then later in the day sealed a 63 62 win over Belgium’s Jef Vandorpe. The 14-year-old has now won all of his first three matches, with one match left against Dutch 15-year-old Mitchel Graauw. Grauw started his challenge on the second day, making it two wins from two matches after defeating Vandorpe 63 62 and Justin Peraux of Belgium 60 61.