Photo: Jeanna CourterMichael Jeremiasz (FRA)
Two former champions are set to go head-to-head for a place in the men’s singles quarterfinals at the US Open USTA Championships in St. Louis after former ITF World Champion Michael Jeremiasz made a winning return to competition at the final Super Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour on Tuesday.
On a day when there were few problems for the seeded players in action in the men’s and women’s singles, world No. 10 Jeremiasz secured a 60 63 victory over Brazil’s Carlos Santos in his first match in seven months.
The Frenchman’s last appearance before being side-lined by injury had been in the opening round of the Australian Open, the last of three tournaments Jeremiasz played Down Under in January, and he had already contested a final set tiebreak against his compatriot Stephane Houdet in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International Open, the first Super Series of 2014.
That suggests another enthralling contest when Jeremiasz takes on world No. 2 Houdet on the second day in St. Louis, a match that sees both 2012 finalists go head-to-head.
Australia’s Adam Kellerman also meets French seventh seed Nicola Peifer in another intriguing contest, with Houdet and Peifer the last of the eight seeds to begin their competitions after a comfortable first day for the other six main protagonists.
Last November’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters finalists Shingo Kunieda and Joachim Gerard both dropped three games apiece ahead of their meeting in the last eight after Kunieda opened his title defence with victory over fellow Japanese former top 10 player Satoshi Saida.
World No. 6 Maikel Scheffers also yielded just three games in his opening contest against Canada’s Joel Dembe, but there were even more comfortable passages to the last eight for world No. 3 Gordon Reid and world No. 4 Gustavo Fernandez as the Brit and the Argentinean recorded 60 60 victories.
Kawano joins seeds in quad singles quarterfinals
The first seeded player to exit the tournament was American David Buck after the world No. 10 and sixth seed bowed out to Japan’s former world No. 9 Shota Kawano. Currently world ranked No. 15, Kawano earned a 63 76 victory over Buck ahead of meeting world No. 1 David Wagner, who started his title defence by dropping just one game to fellow American David Jordan.
It was a difficult first day for some of the USA’s players as world No. 11 and seventh seed Greg Hasterok had to survive a tense final set against Canada’s Gary Luker, prevailing 61 26 75 to set up a quarterfinal against world No. 2 Lucas Sithole of South Africa.
The remaining two quarterfinals will be Anglo-American contests after British third and fourth seeds Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin both started with straightforward victories. Lapthorne will play the winner of the all-American contest between eighth seed Bryan Barten and Steven Bafter, while Burdekintakes on former champion Nick Taylor after fifth seed Taylor sealed the only 60 60 victory on the first day of quad singles competition.
Kamiji to meet Whiley for semifinal berth
With South Africa’s world No. 8 Kgothatso Montjane still to play Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana for the last remaining place in the women’s quarterfinals, the winner will go on to face fourths seed Jiske Griffioen, the only Dutchwoman in the top half of the draw and one of three players to start their campaigns by dropping just two games.
Just over a week away from world No. 1 Yui Kamiji and Brit Jordanne Whiley starting their bid to complete a full set of Grand Slam doubles titles in a calendar year, the two players will meet for a place in the singles semifinals in St. Louis. Japan’s Kamiji began her title defence with a 63 61 victory over Shuker’s fellow Brit and world No. 10 Lucy Shuker.
With just the first day’s play gone, one thing that is certain for later in the week is that the women’s singles semifinal at the bottom of the draw will be a Dutch-German affair after world No. 2 Aniek van Koot and world No. 6 Marjolein Buis set up a quarterfinal meeting, while Germany’s world No. 3 Sabine Ellerbrock and world No. 9 Katharina Kruger also eased to straight sets victories to win through to the last eight.
US Open USTA Championships Draws on USTA.com