17 Mar 2018

Barten and Wagner into Georgia Open quad final

News Article

Photo: Takeo TanumaBryan Barten (USA)

Bryan Barten and David Wagner will ensure that the inaugural Georgia Open quad singles title stays in the USA when they contest the first final of this week’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour ITF 1 Series event in Rome on Saturday.

Later in the day Barten and Wagner will also pair up for the quad doubles final, while Saturday’s men’s and women’s singles semifinals will be contested by three of the four top seeds.

Barten, runner-up at last month’s Bolton Indoor, booked his place in another quad singles final after ending the winning sequence of Japan’s Koji Sugeno 16 75 61. World No.1 Wagner completed the all-American line-up for the final after also beating Japanese opposition. The top seed defeated Mitsuteru Moroishi 62 61 to put himself within one match win of a second ITF 1 title of 2018.

Top seeds Barten and Wagner also quashed Japanese hopes in their quad doubles semifinal, beating Mika Ishikawa and Sugeno 60 61. After defeating the second seeds in the first round, Ymanitu Silva of Brazil and Lucas Sithole of South Africa advanced to the final with a 63 61 over Canadian partnership Gary Luker and Rob Shaw.

Gerard continues resurgence with victory over Kunieda

Last month Joachim Gerard won his first UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour men’s singles title since the 2016 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters with victory at Bolton Indoor.

Since his second Masters victory in 2016 Gerard has had to recover from a shoulder injury and he went into his quarterfinal against second seed Shingo Kunieda with the Japanese player having shown that his own comeback from injury to restoring something approaching his best form is moving in the right direction with victory at the Australian Open.

However, it was Gerard who proved strongest in Rome, earning a 76(4) 16 61 win that sets up a semi-final against third seed Stephane Houdet. Houdet booked his place in the last four with a 64 62 win over Nicolas Peifer in their all-French quarterfinal.

Top seed Gustavo Fernandez and fourth seed Gordon Reid will contest the other men’s semifinal after the 24-year-old Argentinian made it four wins in a row over sixth seed Takashi Sanada. Fernandez came through a hard-fought quarterfinal 76(4) 36 64. Meanwhile, Reid also advanced in three sets, but had much the better of the second and third set against Dutchman Maikel Scheffers to win 46 61 62.

Shuker upsets Montjane to join Dutch trio in women’s semis

Sixth seed Lucy Shuker gained her first win over South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane in four matches to join the top three Dutch seeded players in the women’s singles semifinals.

Shuker beat Montane 61 63 one week and one year since her last win over the South African, in the quarter finals of last Cajun Classic – a tournament both will contest again next week in Baton Rouge.

Shuker next bids for a first win over current world No.2 Diede de Groot since the quarterfinals of the 2016 Cajun Classic after de Groot was made to fight hard for her 46 64 63 quarterfinal win over eighth seed Angelica Bernal. It was the first match between 22-year-old Colombian world No.12 Bernal and 21-year-old de Groot since the Dutch player twice beat Bernal on the way to winning the 2013 Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters.

With an all-Dutch final a possibility, second seed Aniek van Koot and third seed Marjolein Buis will contest the other semifinal. Van Koot also met with a strong quarterfinal challenge from a South American opponent before defeating Natalia Mayara of Brazil 75 64. Meanwhile, Buis maintained her unbeaten record against Chinese player Zhenzhen Zhu 63 62.