Photo: Nicolas RighettiMansour Bahrami (IRI) and Sabine Ellerbrock (GER)
Just days after wowing the crowds with his particular blend of skill and humour on the grass courts at The Championships, Wimbledon, Mansour Bahrami helped bring the first day of the Swiss Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, to a fun-filled end on Tuesday in Geneva as he joined Stephane Houdet and Sabine Ellerbrock for an exhibition.
The Iranian-born Bahrami, who now lives in Paris, and 17-year-old Swiss junior Johan Nikles, partnered women’s world No. 3 Ellerbrock and men’s world No. 2 Houdet for a one-up, one down exhibition before Bahrami and Houdet added to the entertainment with a singles match.
“It is a pleasure to play with players with so many accomplishments and trophies,” said Bahrami, who also tried his hand at playing in a wheelchair, alongside Ellerbrock, the 2014 women’s wheelchair tennis champion at the Australian Open. “The match with Stephane was a great match! It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun.”
“I know Bahrami as we already played an exhibition together before and we practised together at the French Open,” said 2012 ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champion Houdet, who also lives in Paris. “He is a great and very fun person who understands the quality and the level of the game, allowing us to provide a better exhibition to the people watching. Today has been a lot of fun and an extremely enjoyable experience”
“It was a great opportunity and a lot of fun. I watched Bahrami competing with the other great tennis players (when I was growing up) and today was a lovely experience,” said Ellerbrock, who had earlier got her women’s singles challenge underway in Geneva with a 61 61 victory.
While Bahrami, Houdet, Ellerbrock and Nikles brought the opening day of the tournament to an entertaining end, the ITF 1 Series event started with Dorrie Timmermans-van Hall of Netherlands, David Buck of USA, Britain’s Jamie Burdekin, Italy’s Antonio Raffaele and Thomas Huguenin of France all advancing to the quarter-finals of the quad singles.
The four first round matches in the men’s singles saw Thomas von Daeniken take Swiss hopes into the round of 16 after defeating his countryman Christophe Vouillamoz 62 61, but Frenchman Patrick Grabit dented Swiss hopes after his 75 75 win over Matthias Huerlimann. There was another close finish for Israel’s Asaaf Stokol , who edged out Germany’s Guido Nespethal to set up a second round contest against Argentina’s defending champion Gustavo Fernandez.
Order of Play - Wednesday, 9 July 2014