22 Sep 2017

Laudan continues landmark week in Sardinia

News Article

Photo: Angelo MeloniMaximillian Laudan (GER)

Maximillian Laudan extended his landmark week in Alghero to reach his first ITF 1 Series quad singles final on Friday’s penultimate date of the Sardinia Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour

The day after beating world No. 3 Lucas Sithole to reach his first semifinal at ITF 1 level, Laudan beat former world No.1 Shraga Weinberg 63 64 to end Weinberg’s ambitions of regaining the title in Sardinia.

Laudan will now meet world No. 1 David Wagner for just the second time. The Sardinia Open title is one accolade that is still missing from Wagner’s extensive list of achievements, but the USA top seed moved to within one match of possibly gaining this year’s crown after ending Antony Cotterill’s winning sequence in Alghero.

Brit Cotterill arrived in Sardinia this week on the back of victory in the deciding doubles rubber of the quad final at May’s BNP Paribas World Team Cup. However, after the world No. 9 made it four wins in a row in Alghero to reach this week’s semifinals, Wagner dominated much of their last four contest to progress 63 60.

Cotterill and Wagner also met in the quad doubles semifinals, but there was a different outcome as top seeds Cotterill and Lucas Sithole edged out Alberto Corradi and Wagner 64 36 (10-4). Cotterill and Sithole will face Israeli second seeds Itay Erenlib and Weinberg in the final.

Houdet and Peifer to meet in men’s singles final

Doubles partners and top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer wil play each other for the Sardinia Open men’s singles title for third time since 2008.

Peifer’s won both their previous finals in 2008 and 2011 and the world No. 5 earned his return to the final for the first time since 2011 when he beat fourth seed Joachim Gerard, the 2014 champion and 2015 runner-up 64 63.

Peifer took the opening set after breaking Gerard in the last game when the Belgian put a forehand in to the net, having already saved two set points. The French second seed earned a 4-1 lead in the second set and maintained his level to close out victory with a forehand winner

US Open champion Houdet’s semifinal against Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson ended prematurely in the second set.

World No. 2 and top seed Houdet moved 5-3 up in the opening set before Olsson battled back to level at 5-5. However, Houdet regained the upper hand and closed out the set before taking a 4-1 second set lead. But at that point Olsson was defaulted, leaving Houdet with the opportunity to try and make it three successive Sardinia Open titles, having beaten Gerard in the 2015 final and Olsson in last year’s’ decider.

Either Houdet or Peifer could end the tournament with singles and doubles titles. The reigning champions will play second seeds Gerard and Olsson in this year’s final after comfortable straight sets semifinal wins for both partnerships.

Famin and Kruger into women’s final

With a French champion guaranteed in the men’s singles, Charlotte Famin will also bid for French success in the women’s singles final as the world No. 11 bids for her first ITF 1 Series title.

Famin, who is on the verge of earning her first world Top 10 ranking, survived a marathon semifinal against Russia’s Viktoriia Lvova, eventually pulling through for a 63 46 76(5) victory

Famin went into the contest level with Lvova at 3-3 in career head-to-heads and with both players having won one of their two previous matches this season. However second seed Famin gained a narrow advantage in both the match and the career rivalry ahead of playing German top seed Katharina Kruger for the title.

Kruger, who defeated Denmark’s Louise Willerslev-Olsen 62 62 in her semifinal, was previously a finalist in Sardinia back in 2009 and she will now bid to go one better in Alghero than she did eight years ago.

Kruger and Famin will also meet in the women’s doubles final as top seeds Kruger and Lvova face Famin and Italy’s Marianna Lauo.

Saturday’s last day of the 18th Sardinia Open will see all three singles finals streamed live, starting with the quad singles final at 09.30 local time. The women’s doubles final is also set to be streamed live.