Photo: Srdjan StevanovicAgnese Gustmane (LAT)
Today saw the round of 32 matches in most draws at the Seniors World Individual Championships in Turkey, and several former world champions who have since slipped down the rankings set up intriguing matches with current top ranked players.
In the women’s 40 age category, last 16 matches were played today and seventh seed Agnese Gustmane of Latvia, world champion in 2006, beat USA’s Carolina Blouin 62 61 to set up a quarterfinal encounter with second seed Ana Salas of Spain, world champion in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The men’s 55 event saw two former world champions make it through to the last 16 in Denmark’s Alan Rasmussen, seeded 10, and 16th seed Dan Waldman.
Rasmussen, world champion in 2005 and 2009, defeated Belgian Marc Grandjean 64 63 and will now face eighth seed Mike Tammen of USA, playing in his first year in the age category. Tammen’s fellow American Waldman, world champion in 2007 and 2010, had a 64 60 win over Poland’s Jan Papierz and faces an even more daunting task in top seed Paul French, fresh from leading Great Britain to victory in last week’s Austria Cup.
Another event which will have some interesting match-ups tomorrow is the men’s 40, where world No. 1 Lukas Vojtechovsky of Czech Republic will face Bart Beks, No. 1 on the Dutch team which won the Tony Trabert Cup last week. Vojtechovsky beat Oliver Berndsen of Germany 63 63 while Beks defeated Russian Vladimir Andreyenok 62 60. In the bottom half of the draw, fourth seed Arnaud Magnin of France, who defeated Beks in straight sets in the team event, looked impressive in beating Australian Rhys McDougall for the loss of just one game.
In the last 16 he will face 15th seed Jose Alejos, who reached the semifinals the only time he played the world championships in 2007 and who was undefeated as Spain’s No. 1 player in last week’s team event. Alejos started slowly against Greek Michael Papageorgiou but finished strongly to win 76 61.
None of the top seeds struggled in today’s matches in the men’s events. In the 35 age category, top seed and 2009 champion Beniamin Budziak of Poland made light work of what had looked like a difficult match against German Marc Leimbach, winning 63 63. Second seed Roberto Menendez of Spain, the defending champion, also had a straightforward win, 61 63 against South African Russell Schluter. Former ATP No. 127 Noam Behr continued his excellent form with a 60 60 win over Swede Oaf Eliasson to remain on course for a tantalising semifinal with Menendez.
The top seeded players in the men’s 45 and 50 categories also had few difficulties as they progressed through to the last 16. Jeff Tarango, winner in the 40 category in 2012 and top seed in the 45s this year, won 60 60 against Switzerland’s Luc Estermann while second seed Luca Vigani of Italy dropped just one game to Sweden’s Jan Hedman. Third seed Taras Beyko of Canada and Vigani’s fellow Italian Enrico Casadei, seeded four, also had straightforward wins today.
In the 50 age category the favourites also stormed through today with top seed Alain Moracchini of France, second seed Konstantinos Economidis of Greece and fourth seed Manfred Hundstorfer of Austria dropping just three games between them. Third seeded Austrian Karl Pansy also had a straight sets win over Israeli Frank Etzold.
Viljo Tanganelli, who was instrumental in Italy’s Fred Perry Cup win last week, beat 16th seed Jacques Hervet of France for the loss of only three games, making it a total of five games lost in three matches.
The big upsets in the women’s events came in the 55 age category, as Frances Candy of Great Britain knocked out third seeded Brazilian Rosangela Fritelli for the loss of just two games and Argentina’s Gloria Moreno Quintana dropped just one game to seventh seed Irina Klimova from Russia. In contrast, all of the top eight seeds went safely through to the last 16 of the women’s 50 event where six of the 16 matches played today finished 60 60. It was a particularly good day for the Italians, as Francesca Ciardi, Maria Rosa Bruno, Paola Ippoliti and Simona Bozzano dropped just one game between them.
All the seeded players also went through in straight sets in the women’s 45 category. There was more drama in the women’s 35, particularly for the South African sisters Dedri and Lindi Prinsloo who were involved in three set battles against Eva Grm of Slovenia and Australian second seed Jo Walter, and who both ultimately came up short after several hours of play. In contrast, top seeded Argentinean Silvina Delgado won 60 61 against Poland’s Iwona Domanska and another Pole, eighth seed Hanna Listek, lost 60 60 to German Annette Zweck.
For draws and results please click here.