Photo: Mathilde DusolCarlos Anker (NED)
On a day when France bids to finish unbeaten at the top of its group at the World Cup in Brazil it was a young Brazilian-born athlete making the headlines on the tennis courts in Antony, Paris, as world No. 2 ranked junior Carlos Anker reached his first Super Series men’s singles second round after a stirring comeback at the BNP Paribas Open de France, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Anker was born in Brazil in 1996 with no knee joints and no tibias. With his biological parents unable to look after him he was adopted by Dutch parents when just two months old. After trying a few other sports, in 2008 Anker took part in a wheelchair tennis clinic with Netherlands’ six-time NEC Masters champion, 2006 ITF World Champion and 2004 Athens Paralympic men’s singles gold medallist Robin Ammerlaan. He has never looked back since.
Based on rankings, Anker’s 46 76(6) 61 win over Frenchman Nicolas Vanlerberghe should have been little surprise, but for the young Dutchman, who only turned 18 last month and currently studies at the Johan Cruyff College in Nijmegen, rescuing his hopes in a second set tiebreak has set up a meeting with French second seed Stephane Houdet.
The world No. 2 junior will meet the world No. 2 ranked senior player after Houdet opened his challenge with a 61 61 win over fellow Frenchman Gaetan Menguy.
“I am really happy with my win here because it is a strong tournament with really strong players. I knew that it would be a hard match but I fought until the last point and I think that the will of winning made me win today,” said Anker.
“It was a really special feeling because it is my first Super Series tournament and I'm really satisfied about the way I performed. Tomorrow playing the world No. 2 is an honour because two years ago I saw him playing for the first time when I was just in the audience, and now I am playing him.”
The remaining six places available in the men’s second round went included a 75 64 victory for Frenchman Yoann Quilliou that saw Quillou beat Hungary’s Laszlo Farkas for the first time to set up a meeting with Dutch sixth seed Maikel Scheffers, with former two-time ITF World Champion Lauren Giammartini, a multiple winner of the title in Antony, adding to the French success as he booked a match against seventh seed .
World No. 3 Gordon Reid and world No. 11Tom Egberink, who are set to be doubles partners next week at Wimbledon, face each other in the remaining match.
McLean and Tatschl battle through in quad singles
There was a breakthrough for USA’s Marc McLean as the remaining spots were filled in the last 16 of the quad singles, with McLean earning his first career win over Italy’s Giuseppe Polidori. McLean goes on to play Australian fourth seed Dylan Alcott for a place in the quarterfinals.
Tatschl had to come from a set down to book his place in the last 16 against American sixth seed Greg Hasterok, while Israel’s former world No. 1 Shraga Weinberg, the 2009 champion in Antony, joined American David Buck and Italy’s Alfredo di Cosmo in also progressing.
There were few problems for the four seeds that booked quarterfinal places in the bottom half of the women’s singles draw as fourth seed Jordanne Whiley, sixth seed Katharina Kruger and seventh seed Lucy Shuker won a total of four sets to love between them, with Kruger earning the only 60 60 win against Russia’s Evgeniya Korotkina to set up a quarterfinal against Whiley.
Shuker will play Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot for a place in the semifinals after van Koot’s 62 61 victory over Austria’s Margrit Fink, with the remaining quarterfinal places to be decided on Thursday’s third day of play.
BNP Paribas Open de France Latest Draws
Order of Play - Thursday, 26 June 2014