29 Aug 2014

Griffioen excels in St. Louis semis

Match Report

Photo: James Jordan / Tennis FoundationJiske Griffioen (NED)

Jiske Griffioen became the first player to beat world No. 1 Yui Kamiji twice this season as the singles and doubles finalists were decided on Friday at the US Open USTA Championships, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in St. Louis.

Shingo Kunieda and Stephane Houdet, the world’s top two ranked players, will meet in the men’s singles final for the second successive year, while the quad singles final will be also be a repeat of the 2013 final as defending champion David Wagner takes on Andy Lapthorne.

World No. 4 Griffioen beat Kamiji 76(6) 62 to end Kamiji’s women’s singles title defence in St. Louis as well as the Japanese top seed’s 15 match winning streak. Griffioen’s first win over Kamiji this season came at the first Super Series tournament of the year in Sydney in January, when Griffioen also prevailed in the semifinals before going to beat Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock in the final.

After reaching her third Super Series final of 2014 Griffioen will now meet Ellerbrock again after the No. 3 defeated world No. 6 Marjolein Buis 64 36 63, ensuring it would not be an all-Dutch final.

Kunieda and Houdet to contest third Super Series final in 2014

The day after upsetting world No. 3 Gordon Reid in the quarterfinals, world No. 9 Takashi Sanada made every effort to try and beat the odds once again as he took world No. 2 Houdet to a deciding set for the first time in their seven head-to-heads However, the Frenchman increased his intensity in the final set to seal a 62 67(5) 61 victory and maintain his ambitions of regaining the title he won in St. Louis in 2012.

Kunieda narrowly avoided being taken to a third set in his semifinal as he beat world No. 4 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina 61 76(4). The Japanese top seed and Houdet will now meet in a Super Series final for the third time this season.

Wagner and Lapthorne set for rematch

There was drama in the quad singles semifinals as world No. 3 Lapthorne almost let a 5-1 second set lead slip away against South Africa’s world No. 2 Lucas Sithole. Lapthorne admitted that he ‘nearly blew it’ after eventually sealing the contest 62 76(5).

Wagner, a four-time champion at this home Super Series, also had a tough second set in his semifinal against world No. 5 Jamie Burdekin, but the top seed held on to deny an all-British final and his 60 75 victory over Burdekin will see the American now meet Lapthorne for the seventh time this season on Sunday, with honours currently even at three wins apiece so far in 2014.

Three-time Paralympic quad doubles champions and top seeds Nick Taylor and Wagner, the defending champions in St. Louis, had a walkover into this year’s final after David Jordan and Francois Trawalter had to withdraw from their scheduled semifinal. Taylor and Wagner will play Lapthorne and Sithole in Saturday’s final after the second seeds dominated from the outset against Canada’s Gary Luker and Robert Shaw to seal a 60 60 victory.

The women’s doubles final will be a rematch of the 2013 final after defending champions and second seeds Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa and Britain’s Jordanne Whiley beat American duo Emmy Kaiser and Dana Mathewson 63 62. Dutch top seeds Griffioen and Aniek van Koot won the other semifinal against Ellerbrock and Lucy Shuker 62 62.

French fourth seeds Michael Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer booked their place in the men’s doubles final after defeating Australian-Japanese duo Adam Kellerman and Takashi Sanada 62 63. Top seeds
Houdet and Kunieda will play Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Belgium’s Joachim Gerard in the remaining semifinal on Saturday’s penultimate day of play.  

US Open USTA Championships Draws on USTA.com