Photo: Gregory PicoutMarjolein Buis (NED)
Marjolein Buis and Nicolas Peifer upset the odds on Friday’s fourth day of the BNP Paribas Open de France to earn their places in the men’s and women’s singles semifinals as all four top seeds moved into the quad singles semifnials at the fourth Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in Antony, Paris.
World No. 6 Buis, who arrived in Antony with just one win in her last 18 matches against Germany’s world No. 3 Sabine Ellerbrock dating back to 2011, ended their latest encounter with what she described as ‘her most tense tiebreak ever’. However, after earning a string of match points and saving several sets Buis eventually prevailed 62 76(15) to become one of two Dutch semifnalists in the women’s singles.
*I feel such a relief now, it was such a tense tiebreak,” said Buis. “The first set I played really well, but in the second set I gave too many chances to Sabine and made less winners, less pressure and the tiebreak was such a tense game. Every time I had a match point I was so nervous I couldn’t hit a winner, so I’m very happy now.”
Buis’s victory denied Ellerbrock the chance of a playing for a place in her second successive women’s final at the BNP Paribas Open de France, with last year’s runners-up placing having seen Ellerbrock overtake Aniek van Koot to become world No. 1 for the first time.
Current world No. 2 van Koot became the second Dutch semfinalist this year, denying Britain a second player in the last four after overcoming world No. 10 and seventh seed Lucy Shuker 64 46 61. Van Koot has world No. 5 Jordanne Whlley between her and a place in this year’s final after Whiley’s 76(4) 61 victory over German eighth seed Katharina Kruger.
Buis faces defending champion and current world No. 1 Yui Kamiji in her semifinal. The Japanese top seed, who is bidding to retain the second of the three Super Series titles she won in 2013, eased into the last four this year after beating eighth seed Francisca Mardones of Chile 62 62.
Peifer impresses against Fernandez
On home soil Nicolas Peifer put in a fine performance against Argentina’s world No. 4 Gustavo Fernandez, racing to a 63 60 victory and his first in over Fernandez since 2012 in their men’s singles quarterfinal. World No. 9 Peifer takes on defending champion Shingo Kuneida in the last four, Japan’s world No. 1 reaching this year’s semifinals after a 61 76(6) win over Belgian fifth seed Joachim Gerard.
The score of Kunieda’s victory over Gerard wasn’t too far off the score when they met in the final of last year’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Califronia, which, incidentally, was where Peifer secured his one and only win over Kunieda to date, in the round-robin phase of the event before Kunieda went on to clinch the title.
The only one of the men’s semifinals to go to a deciding set ended in a tense victory for Britain’s world No. 3 Gordon Reid, who came from a set and 4-1 down before edging out Dutch sixth seed Maikel Scheffers 46 46 64. Reid plays second seed Stephane Houdet for a place in the final, Houdet becoming the second Frenchman to advance to the last four after defeating Takuya Miki 61 76(2).
World’s top four power into quad singles semis
The world’s top four ranked players wasted little time in advancing to the quad singles semifinals, led by world No. 1 and defending champion David Wagner, who won his all-American quarterfinal against Greg Hasterok 61 62.
Wagner’s semifinal opponent, world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne, and world No. 2 Lucas Sithole both won their quarterfinals 61 63, Lapthorne ending the 2014 unbeaten sequence of Dutchwoman Dorrie Timmermans-van Hall and Sithole overcoming Italian seventh seed Antonio Raffaele. However, the most comfortable win of the day belonged to Australia’s world No. 4 Dylan Alcott, who raced to a 61 60 win over world No. 5 ranked Brit Jamie Burdekin.
Houdet and Kunieda, the top seeds, beat fourth seeds Fernandez and Peifer 63 64 to earn their place in the men’s doubles final. The defending champions will now meet second seeds Reid and Scheffers, who edged past third seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Gerard 75 75.
Top seeds Buis and Kamiji will also play second seeds Shuker and Whlley in the women’s doubles final. Buis and Kamiji beat Kruger and Mardones 63 62 in the semifinals, with Shuker and Whiley ending the hopes of French duo Charlotte Famin and Emmanuelle Morsh 60 63.
Both quad doubles semifinals produced enthralling contests as top seeds Hasterok and Wagner, the defending champions, held off a strong challenge from Alcott and Sithole to advance to the final 76(3) 57 62. British second seeds Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne made an indifferent start to their semifinal against Italy’s Antonio Raffaele and Israel’s Shrage Weinberg, but recaptured the kind of form that took them to the final of the SA Open to prevail 16 60 62.
BNP Paribas Open de France Latest Draws