13 Feb 2018

Olsson and Gerard reach doubles semis in Rotterdam

News Article

Photo: Hannie VerhoevenJoachim Gerard (BEL) and Stefan Olsson (SWE)

Five years on from making their debut as a doubles partnership at the 2013 ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson reached the semifinals of this year’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tournament event in Rotterdam on Tuesday evening.

As the men’s doubles again provided the traditional curtain-raiser at the ITF 1 Series tournament, Gerard and Olsson met Gustavo Fernandez and Maikel Scheffers for the first time since beating Fernandez and Scheffers in the final of the 2016 Bath Indoor, a contest that Gerard and Olsson won 36 76(3) (10-4).

The latest encounter between the two losing semifinalists at November’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters also went to a deciding match tiebreak despite Fernandez and Scheffers leading by a set and 2-0. Gerard and Olsson fought back to lead for the first time at 3-2 in the second set before last month’s Melbourne Open runners-up prevailed 26 64 (10-5).  

The day’s other doubles quarterfinal also went to a deciding match tiebreak as Frederic Cattaneo and Evans Maripa defeated Takashi Sanada and young Dutchman Ruben Spaargaren 62 36 (10-7).

Thursday’s doubles semifinals will see Gerard and Olsson take on top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer as the French duo begin their quest for a hat-trick of titles in Rotterdam. Cattaneo and Maripa will face British second seeds Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid as the two-time Wimbledon champions pair up in Rotterdam for the first time.

Olsson and Scheffers to meet in singles first round

With nine of the world’s Top 10 men among the 12 entries for the men’s singles, the doubles quarterfinal between Gerard and Olsson and Fernandez and Scheffers featured one former Rotterdam singles champion in Fernandez and three former singles runners-up.

The ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament celebrates its 10th year in 2018 and among those to finish as runners-up previously in the men’s singles, 2016 finalist Olsson and 2013 finalist Scheffers will be on opposite sides of the net once again in Wednesday evening’s first singles matches as they vie for the right to face second seed Fernandez in the quarterfinals.

Wednesday’s four singles matches also see Peifer face Maripa. The winner will go on to face Reid, so should Peifer beat Maripa this year’s quarterfinals will include a rematch of last year’s final in Rotterdam.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday evening Cattaneo will play wild card entry Spaargaren and Gerard, runner-up to Fernandez in 2015, will play world No. 8 Sanada. Gerard or Sanada will then be the first opponent for Hewett since the 20-year-old became world No.1 following the Australian Open.