09 May 2014

Top seeds start to fall at Atlanta Open


Photo: Jeanna CourterStephen Welch (USA)

One of the top four seeds in each of the men’s, women’s and quad singles exited the Atlanta Open as Wednesday’s second day of the ITF  1 Series event on the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour proved to be a successful one for the home players.

Former world No. 1 Stephen Welch beat Austrian fourth seed Martin Legner 75 76(3) as two of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour’s most experienced players went head-to-head, with sixth seed  Welch progressing to a  semifinal against top seed Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina. Dutch second seed Maikel Scheffers and third seed Marc McCarroll of Great Britain will contest the other semifinal.

Kaitlyn Verfuerth continued the American success in the women’s singles as the two-time Paralympian eased past French fourth seed Emilie Chene 60 61. Former world No. 10 Verfuerth takes on second seed Emmy Kaiser in the semifinals, guaranteeing that there will be an American finalist. Top seed and defending champion Jordanne Whiley and her doubles partner, third seed Francisca Mardones of Chile, will also go head-to-head for a place in the final.

Bryan Barten prevailed in the match of the day in the quad singles, beating third seed and world No. 8 Antony Cotterill of Great Britain 57 75 62 in the quarterfinals. With three American players in the semifinals, Barten now comes up against another British opponent when he takes on last year’s runner-up Andy Lapthorne.

David Wagner and third seed Nick Taylor will also meet in the semifinals after both earned comfortable quarterfinal victories and later paired up to reach the quad doubles final. The top seeds and three-time Paralympic gold medallists face Barten and Greg Hasterok in the all-American final after Barten and Hasterok held on in a thrilling climax to their semifinal to edge out British second seeds Cotterill and Lapthorne 67(4) 63 (12-10).

The top two seeded partnerships will also meet in the men’s doubles final after top seeds Fernandez and McCarroll and second seeds Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan and Scheffers both earned straight sets semifinal victories.

Top seeds Whiley and Mardones face American second seeds Kaiser and Marianne Page in the women’s doubles final.   


  • Stephen Welch (USA)Kaitlyn Verfuerth (USA)
  • Bryan Barten (USA)Jordanne Whiley (GBR)