Photo: Fundacio Tommy RobredoLouise Hunt (GBR)
Louise Hunt justified top seeding to win the women’s singles title on Saturday’s penultimate day of the 6th Open Memorial Santi Silvas, while second seed David Phillipson moved into Sunday’s men’s singles final against defending champion Gustavo Fernandez at the Club Natacio Olot in Spain.
With rain interrupting the action on both the second and third days of the ITF 2 Series event organised by ITF Wheelchair Tennis Ambassador Tommy Robredo and his Foundation, Hunt had eased to a 62 60 win over her 13-year-old compatriot Luz Esperanza Merry in the semifinals. Spain’s Lola Ochoa secured a comfortable 61 63 win over Colombia’s Johana Martinez.
Hunt then snatched the opening set of Saturday’s final in a tiebreak, but trailed narrowly when play was suspended, only to return to court some three hours later to complete her 76(1) 62 victory over home favourite Ochoa
“’I’m really excited to win this tournament, it’s my first time here and it’s a really great tournament. It’s the first tournament I’ve won this year in singles, so I’m very happy,” said Hunt.
“Obviously when you get a rain delay it’s really frustrating but you just have to take it in your stride as no one can do anything about it. It was frustrating for me because I didn’t feel like I played my best tennis in the first set and then I was 2-0 down in the second. I brought it back to 3-2 so I felt like I was really picking up my game and the rain came in. But I stuck to my routines in the nearly three hour rain delay and came back and played by best tennis at the end, so that all that matters, really,
“I’ve played a lot of tournaments throughout my career, but I can honestly say this is one of my favourites. I’ve never felt so welcomed to a tournament. The set up is fantastic, from the way they cater for the players in the players’ lounge. The umpires and ball boys are fantastic, so I’m really liking it here and I’ll definitely come back,” added the world No. 19.
Interview - Louise Hunt
Fernandez and Phillipson into men’s final
For the second year in a row Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez beat four-time champion Stefan Olsson in the semifinals as the world No. 4 moved to within a match of a would be a successful title defence.
With Fernandez and Olsson having made their experience tell in straight sets wins over young Spaniards Martin de la Puente and Roberto Chamizo in the last eight, top seed Fernandez was much more dominant than in his three set win over Olsson in Olot in 2013, sweeping to a 61 61 semifinal victory.
Phillipson had a much tougher task against French third seed Lahcen Majdi, but held on for a 63 76(7) victory and will now meet Fernandez for only the second time in their careers.
Hunt and Phillipson still have ambitions of securing singles and doubles titles heading into the last day of play, with top seeds Hunt and Ochoa set to face French second seeds Evelyne Claverie and Pauline Helouin in the women’s doubles final after the French duo’s 64 75 victory over Martinez and Merry.
Olsson and Phillipson moved into the men’s doubles final when the top seeds defeated Fernandez and Spain’s Martin Varela 63 64, but their next opponents are yet to be decided, with French second seeds Sebastien Husser and Thomas Vinatier scheduled to resume their semifinal against Chamizo and de la Puente on Sunday morning, with the two partnerships level at 2-2.
Saturday, 14 June Day 3 Highlights