16 Mar 2018

Seeds continue to exit at inaugural Georgia Open

News Article

Photo: Anibal Greco/Sergio LlameraNatalia Mayara (BRA)

World No.1 David Wagner is the only seed left in the quad singles going into Friday’s quad singles semifinals at the Georgia Open, as the new ITF 1 Series event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour continued on Thursday with Natalia Mayara and Zhenzhen Zhu both beating seeded opposition to reach the women’s singles quarterfinals.

Wagner kept himself in the hunt for a second ITF 1 title of 2018 with a 62 60 quarterfinal win over his countryman and long-time doubles partner Nick Taylor as both semifinals became American-Japanese contests.

With Ymanitu Silva of Brazil responsible for beating one of two seeds on the opening day of play, Silva’s tournament came to an end with a narrow 75 63 loss to Mitsuteru Moroishi. Meanwhile, the difference in fortunes in the course of  24 hours were even starker for Moroishi’s compatriot Shota Kawano, who went from beating second seed Lucas Sithole for the first time in his career to enduring a 61 60 loss to world No. 8 Bryan Barten.

However, Kawano’s loss only reduced the Japanese challenge by one, as Koji Sugeno maintained his recent upward curve by levelling his career head-to-head against Australian third seed Heath Davidson at a win apiece. Davidson edged a final set tiebreak in their first meeting at January’s Melbourne Open, but Sugeno had much the better of things on Thursday, winning 61 62 to set up his semifinal against Barten.

Mayara earns back-to-back wins over Kruger

Brazilian No. 1 Mayara ensured that two South American players will contest the women’s singles quarterfinals when she followed up her victory over Germany’s Katharina Kruger at the 2017 Belgian Open. Mayara made it back-to-back wins over the German fifth seed, winning their latest last 16 contest 62 64. The 23-year-old No.17 now plays second seed Aniek van Koot for a place in the semifinals after van Koot beat Canada’s Maude Jacques 60 60.

Zhenzhen Zhu also made it back-to-back wins over French seventh seed Charlotte Famin – both wins coming this season. Zhu’s ability to overcome seeded opponents has become a regular occurrence in recent seasons and the Chinese 28-year-old did it again when she beat Famin 63 61 to follow up her Melbourne Open first round win over Famin.

Zhu is likely to pose a strong quarterfinal challenge now to Dutch third seed Marjolein Buis. Buis made a slow start to her Georgia Open campaign against Japan’s Manami Tanako, but dominated the second and third sets to progress 46 60 60.

Buis and van Koot are two of three Dutch women’s singles quarterfinalists after Diede de Groot beat USA’s Emmy Kaiser 61 62. De Groot now meets Angelica Bernal of Colombia, the only player to have booked her quarterfinal berth after Wednesday’s first day of play.

The remaining women’s quarterfinal sees fourth seed Kgothatso Montjane take on sixth seed Lucy Shuker. Montjane wasted little time in beating Japan’s Yumiko Inoue 60 61, while Shuker negotiated a potentially tricky opening contest against Hui Min Huang to fend off the challenge of the Chinese player 60 57 62.

Top seeds complete men’s quarterfinal line-up

There were no surprises as the remaining men’s singles quarterfinalists were decided, with world No. 2 and top seed Gustavo Fernandez beating Diego Perez of Chile 61 61 to set up a last eight meeting with eighth seed Takashi Sanada.

Shingo Kunieda’s all-Japanese meeting with Satoshi Saida ended in a 62 61 win for the reigning Australian Open champion, who now plays seventh seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium for a semifinal berth.

Meanwhile, there will be an all-French quarterfinal on Friday after third seed Stephane Houdet eased past Yoshinobu Fujimoto 61 61 to set up a meeting between doubles partners, with Houdet now facing fifth seed Nicolas Peifer.