Photo: Steve WylieMarjolein Buis (NED)
Marjolein Buis, Jordanne Whiley, Jiske Griffioen and Yui Kamiji claimed their places in Saturday’s women’s singles semifinals at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Mission Viejo, California, after a tense final day of round-robin pool matches on Friday at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion.
Buis will play Kamiji for a place in next Monday’s final, with Whiley going head-to-head with second seed and defending champion Griffioen in the other semifinal.
Meanwhile, Andy Lapthorne secured third place in the quad singles on the fourth day of play.
Buis beats Ellerbrock in thriller
There was plenty at stake in Buis’s final round-robin match against world No. 2 Sabine Ellerbrock, as a place in the semifinals would have earned Ellerbrock the year-end world No. 1 ranking. The German top seed started well enough, converting the points that mattered to claim the opening set, but a highly dramatic second set came down to a tiebreak.
Ellerbrock recovered from 4-2 down in the tiebreak to earn the first of two match points at 6-5 up. She had her second match point at 7-6 before Buis had the first of her six set points at 8-7 and the Dutch world No. 5 finally slotted home away a backhand down the line winner to force a third and final set.
The decider saw both players match each other for the first eight games of the set, but Buis eventually clinched the last two games to wrap up a thrilling 46 76(12) 64 victory, reversing the result of her third place play-off against Ellerbrock at the 2012 NEC Masters.
While Buis moved into the last four for the third successive year, Whiley and Kamiji have reached the semifinals on their NEC Masters debuts
After beating Ellerbrock in her opening match on Tuesday, Whiley secured second place in Pool 1 by defeating her fellow Brit Lucy Shuker for the loss of just three games in their final round-robin match. World No. 7 Whiley beat world No. 8 Shuker 62 61 to become the first British women’s player to reach the NEC Masters semifinals.
Like Whiley, world No. 4 Kamiji of Japan won two out of her three round-robin matches, beating South Africa’s world No. 6 Kgothatso Montjane 60 64 in her final Pool 2 contest to finish runner-up to Griffioen
World No. 3 Griffioen raced through her final pool match against her fellow Dutchwoman Sharon Walraven 60 61 to move into the last four after having only dropped one set to Kamiji.
Lapthorne seals third place in quad singles
There is only one match left in the quad singles at the 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and that is next Monday’s final after Andy Lapthorne beat American Nick Taylor to claim third place and reinforce their respective world rankings.
World No. 3 Lapthorne of Great Britain, the runner-up in the quad singles at the last two NEC Masters, won the important points against world No. 4 Taylor to earn a 64 64 win, following up his 62 62 win over Taylor in their round-robin match earlier in the week.