Photo: Jeanna CourterKaitlyn Verfuerth (USA)
Kaitlyn Verfuerth reached her second ITF 1 Series women’s singles final on Friday’s third day of the Atlanta Open when she beat fellow American and second seed Emmy Kaiser to stay on course in her bid for a third tittle in Atlanta since 2006.
While Verfuerth plays defending champion Jordanne Whiley in the women’s final, top seed Gustavo Fernandez and second seed Maikel Scheffers contest the men’s singles final and David Wagner meets Andy Lapthorne in the quad singles final as the world No. 1 and world No. 3 go head=to-head for the second successive year.
Top seeds Fernandez and Marc McCarroll also clinched the men’s doubles title, with Chile’s Francisca Mardones and Whiley claiming the women’s singles title and Nick Taylor and Wagner retaining the quad doubles title.
Verfuerth, who won in Atlanta and 2006 and 2008 when the tournament had ITF 2 Series status, was runner-up in her first ITF 1 final at the same event in 2011. She earned a return to the final in Atlanta with a 61 46 64 victory over Kaiser in her first competitive international event since the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup,
Verfuerth will now play defending champion Jordanne Whiley. The top seed and world No. 6 ranked Brit defeated her doubles partner Francisca Mardones of Chile 63 63 in the other semifinal.
Later in the day Whiley sealed her second successive Atlanta Open women’s doubles title after partnering Mardones to a 62 63 win over American second seeds Kaiser and Marianne Page.
Fernandez to meet Scheffers in men’s final
Argentinian world No. 5 Fernandez and Dutch world No. 6 Scheffers are set to play each other in singles competition for the first time since the 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters when they meet in the men’s singles final in Atlanta.
Second seed Scheffers held off third seed Marc McCarroll of Great Britain 62 62 in a semifinal in which McCarroll had far more game points than he was able to convert. Fernandez, runner-up at the Cajun Classic and the Pensacola Open in March, reached his third successive ITF 1 final In the United States without hitting a ball after American sixth seed Stephen Welch withdrew from their scheduled semifinal due to illness.
Fernandez and Scheffers have already met once this week, with top seeds Fernandez and McCarroll battling back from a set down to win Friday’s men’s doubles final in thrilling circumstances. The eventually sealed a 26 62 (10-8) victory over Japan’s Yoshinobu Fujimoto and Scheffers, the second seeds.
Wagner and Lapthorne set for rematch
A year ago in Atlanta world No. 1 Wagner powered to his first 60 60 career win over Lapthorne in the quad singles final and the defending champion reached this year’s final with another 60 60 victory, this time over his doubles partner and fourth seed Nick Taylor.
Bryan Barten made a good start in his bid to set up an all-American final as he edged a first set tiebreak against Lapthorne, but Lapthorne regrouped and dropped just three more games as he completed a 67 63 60 victory to set up his third meeting with Wagner this season, both players having won one of their previous two meetings in 2014.
Wagner will be aiming to end the Atlanta Open with the quad singles and doubles titles once again after he and Taylor duly justified their top seeding this year with a 63 61 win over Barten and Greg Hasterok in Friday’s all-America final.