Photo: Paul ZimmerStefan Olsson (SWE)
Former world No. 2 Stefan Olsson set up an intriguing men’s singles quarterfinal against current world No. 3 and British top seed Gordon Reid on Wednesday’s first day of the inaugural USN Bolton Arena Indoor as 2013 ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champion Aniek van Koot also made a comfortable seasonal debut at the ITF 2 Series tournament.
Sweden's London 2012 doubles gold medallist Olsson has dropped outside the world’s top 50 after ending his 2013 season in June, but he was quite obviously the form player as he yielded just one game in two matches on the first day in Bolton, defeating South African seventh seed Leon Els 60 61 to earn his place in the last eight against Reid.
There were just two three set matches in the men’s singles, both in the first round, but Israel’s Asaaf Stokol and Dutchman Pim Palmen, the winners of thosee two matches, soon saw their challenges end as Olsson became the only player to win back-to-back men’s matches and the remaining seven seeds eased into the last eight.
Among the quarterfinalists are Hungary’s sixth seed Laszlo Farkas and French fourth seed Thomas Vinatier, who will meet for a place in this week’s semifinals after Farkas beating Vinatier in the semifinals at last week’s North West Challenge en route to the ITF 3 Series title.
Van Koot eased through her first match since winning September’s US Open and subsequently ending 2013 as the world No. 1 ranked women’s singles player. After recovering from injury, current world No. 4 van Koot beat Pauline Helouin of France 63 60 to earn her place in the last eight against British sixth seed Louise Hunt.
The remaining six seeded players also all secured straight sets wins, the closest of which ended with Charlotte Famin of France defeating Russia’s Ludmila Bubnova 64 63 to earn a match against world No. 6 and second seed Jordanne Whiley, who could be on course for an all-British semifinal against third seed Lucy Shuker.
Only one of the four seeded players was in action in the quad singles as fourth seed Antonio Raffale secured a 60 60 win over Brit Laura Swetman. Sweden’s former world No. 5 Anders Hard and third seed Jamie Burdekin will meet in what could be the pick of the quad singles quarterfinals.