13 Feb 2004

Top Seeds Reach Men's and Women's Semis As Hunter Bows Out


NEWS ARTICLE

Australian Open, Super Series

Reigning champion David Hall (AUS) and 2002 champion Robin Ammerlaan (NED) are on course for yet another final at Melbourne Park after both players won their respective Men's Main Draw Singles quarter-finals in conflicting fashion on Friday at the Australian Open, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Top seed Hall faced stiff competition from the ever-growing talent of tenth seed Shingo Kunieda (JPN) in his quarter-final, but the Australian just managed to keep the upper hand to secure a 64, 76(0) victory that now sets up a semi-final against another Japanese opponent, third seed Satoshi Saida. Saida booked his place in the last four in similar circumstances, again having to win a second set tie-break to seal a 62, 76(2) over fifth seed Stephen Welch (USA).

World No 1 Ammerlaan was in sensational form against sixth seed Kai Schrameyer (GER), breezing to a 60, 60 whitewash over the former World No 1 to earn a semi-final against fourth seed Martin Legner (AUT). Legner overcame eighth seed Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) 63, 63 to win his quarter-final.

The world's top four ranked players have also won through to the semi-finals of the Women's Main Draw Singles. In the top half of the draw, top seed Esther Vergeer (NED) and fourth seed Maaike Smit (NED) both kept their younger countrywomen Jiske Griffioen and Korie Homan at bay to set up a clash in the semi-finals. Vergeer had the toughest of her three matches this week as she overcame Griffioen 64, 62, while Smit saw off teenager Homan 63, 62.

In the bottom half of the Women's draw, third seed Sonja Peters ensured that there would be three Dutch semi-finalists as she scored the vital points to fight off the considerable challenge of Kay Forshaw (GBR) 64, 63. Peters will now play second seed and home favourite Daniela Di Toro (AUS), who brought a halt to Florence Gravellier's (FRA) progress to triumph 62, 75 in her quarter-final.

In the Quad Main Draw Singles, defending champion Sarah Hunter (CAN) lost the grip on her title in Friday's quarter-finals after being beaten 62, 62 by Monique De Beer (NED). Seventh seed Mark Eccleston (GBR) caused another minor upset as he came through in three sets to beat last week's Sydney International finalist and fourth seed Bas Van Erp (NED) 62, 26, 64. For the second successive tournament, Eccleston will now play countryman and World No 1 Peter Norfolk in the semi-finals after Norfolk saw off the challenge off Japanese eighth seed Masao Takashima 63, 63.

Meanwhile, second seed David Wagner (USA) booked a semi-final against De Beer after fending off a strong second set challenge from compatriot Nick Taylor to win their quarter-final 62, 76(6).

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