19 Sep 2017

Leading players return to Alghero for Sardinia Open

News Article

Photo: Paolo CalaresuNicolas Peifer (FRA)

Four and a half months on from Sardinia hosting the 2017 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, many of the world’s leading players are back in Alghero this week bidding for individual honours at the ITF 1 Series Sardinia Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

After leading France to its eighth World Team Cup men’s title in May, former Sardinia Open champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer are the top two seeds this week and with Peifer at the bottom of the men’s singles draw, the top three places are occupied by Frenchmen, too.

Houdet, who’s returned to No.2 in this week’s world rankings, goes on to face countryman Geoffroy Schivi for a place in the quarterfinals after beginning his title defence with a 60 62 win over Nicolas Vanlerbergh. For Schivi it was a much tougher start, defeating Swiss veteran Thomas Suter 76(3) 64

Peifer needed one game less than Houdet as he began his campaign to try and regain the ITF 1 title with a 60 61 win over Russia’s Yuriy Golovin. Elsewhere it was largely a comfortable start for the seeded players – all that is, apart from eighth seed Tadeusz Kruszelnicki. The first ever career meeting between former world No. 3 Kruszelnicki and Stefanos Diamantis ended in a 62 62 win for Diamantis, who goes on to face Mario Cabras, one of four Italian players who will attempt to advance the home challenge in the last 16.

Quassinti boosts Italian challenge in women’s singles

With the quad singles not beginning until Wednesday’s second day of competition, the start of the women’s singles brought an early boost for the home Italian fans after Monica Quassinti ended the challenge of Swedish seventh seed Sanna Klindt.

Quassinti’s 64 64 victory over Klindt means she will now face Russia’s Viktoriia Lvova. Lvova dented the Italian challenge as she claimed the points that mattered to see of Marianna Lauro 75 64.

Quassinti and Lauro join fourth seed Gabriela Buehler and eighth seed Karin Suter of Switzerland, fifth seed Louise Willerslev-Olsen of Denmark and Swedish sixth seed Rebecka Sternisa Bellander in the quarterfinals.

Malene Olesen doubled the Danish success on the opening day, defeating Italy’s Vanessa Ricci 60 64, and now meets second seed. Charlotte Famin of France.

Top seed Katharina Kruger of Germany will open her title bid against Italy’s Anna Maria Bertola. Bertole ensured there would be now family double on the day for Mirjami Olsson and her husband, Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson.

Mirjami lost out to Bertola 60 76(2) in her first match since last year’s Sardinia Open and, therefore, her first competitive match since she and Stefan became parents for the first time at the start of the year.

Wednesday’s first day of action in the quad singles will include the all-Israeli contest between Itay Erenlib and Shraga Weinberg as the two players meet in Sardinia for the third time in four years. Weinberg won their quarterfinal in 2014 before Erenlib won their semifinal in 2015 on his way to becoming Sardinia Open champion.

World No. 1 David Wagner has a first round bye and will open his challenge against either Petter Edtrom of Sweden or Germany’s Nick Nobbe.

LIVE STREAMING will be available from Friday, 22 September at www.meida-live.it.