20 Jun 2014

Riegler books place in Slovakia semifinals

Match Report

Photo: Jan-Pieter SchadeJosef Riegler (AUT)

Josef Riegler’s continued a fine sequence of recent form to reach the men’s singles semifinals after the first two days of the Slovakia Open, a part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, while all four seeded players are through to the women’s semifinals in Trnava.

A finalist in three tournaments since April, Riegler beat seeded opposition en route to the last four at last week’s Czech Open and repeated that feat in his first round match in Trnava, overcoming French fourth seed Yoann Quilliou 76(2) 63 before dropping just three games to Australia’s Jerry Markoja in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Germany’s Steffen Sommerfeld came through the pick of the first round matches in thrilling circumstances, defeating Poland’s former world No. 3 Tadeusz Kruszelnicki in a final set tiebreak. Sommerfeld’s 46 75 76(4) victory meant that Kruszelnicki went out in his opening match for the second successive tournament.

Sommerfeld’s success lasted just one match as Britain’s world No. 1 ranked junior and third seed Alfie Hewett won their quarterfinal 64 64. Sixteen-year-old Hewett, playing in his first event since February after taking time out to complete school exams, faces Morocco’s Boukartacha Lhaj in the semifinals after Lhaj was given a walkover in his scheduled quarterfinal against Austrian second seed Martin Legner.

It’s been a relatively comfortable first two days for defending champion Frederic Cattaneo. After two successive runners-up spots in the last two weeks, the French top seed’s dropped just eight games en route to his semifinal in Trnava against Riegler.

Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana will feature in the women’s semifinals in the Slovak Republic for the second straight year, but not before having to survive another three set quarterfinal. Cabrillana had to come from behind before wrapping up a 46 63 64 win over junior girls’ singles world No. 1 Viktoriia Lvova ahead of meeting Dutch second seed Michaela Spaanstra in the last four.

Spaanstra and American top seed Emmy Kaiser remain on course for a possible third successive final in as many weeks, with the Dutchwoman dropping just six games in her first two matches, while Kaiser has been even more dominant after winning her opening match 60 60 and defeating Chile’s Maria Paz Diaz 61 61 in the last eight.

Australia’s Janel Manns was the player that took Cabrillana to three sets in the quarterfinals in Trnava in 2013 and Manns again took Russian fourth seed Ludmila Bubnova to a deciding set in the last eight this year. However, Bubnova dominated the first and third sets, eventually putting the seal on a 60 26 60 win to book her semifinal against Kaiser.

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