24 Apr 2012

Brits reach first ITF 1 final in South Africa

Match Report

Photo: Reg CaldecottMarc McCarroll (GBR)

Britain’s Gordon Reid and Marc McCarroll both reached the first ITF 1 Series final of their careers on a dramatic final day at the ACSA South African Open, a part of the N£C Wheelchair Tennis Tour, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, unseeded Israeli player Boaz Kramer ended the host nation’s hopes in the quad singles as he booked his place in the final against top seed Andrew Lapthorne and Dutch top seed Marjolein Buis reached the women’s singles final against Germany’s defending champion Sabine Ellerbrock.

After Monday’s rain ended the third day of play prematurely, both the men’s singles quarterfinals and semifinals were on the schedule for the fourth day and the day began with a series of upsets as sixth seed McCarroll gained his second win of 2012 over Japanese top seed Takashi Sanada and unseeded South African Eliphas Maripa defeated fourth seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan, while fifth seed Takuya Miki improved Japanese fortunes when he defeated third seed Ben Weekes of Australia.

McCarroll’s 64 63 win over Sanada was his second victory of 2012 against the world No. 10 and brought this season’s head-to-head record between the two players to two wins apiece. Maripa put up a fine performance to defeat Fujimoto 62 76(5) and set up a semifinal against McCarroll, but the Briton eased through the contest 62 62 to book his place in Wednesday’s final.

Miki had the edge over Weekes to win a tense quarterfinal 64 76(6), while second seed Reid eased past Brazil’s Russell Rodrigues 61 64. The British second seed subsequently maintained his level to beat Miki 63 61 and will now face his compatriot McCarroll for the eighth time on the NEC Tour, with McCarroll’s only two wins to date in the series coming back at the beginning of 2010.

Buis to face defending champion Ellerbrock as top two seeds reach women’s final

After the women’s quarterfinals had been the only main draw matches to beat the weather on the third day, the semifinals produced two intriguing contests as world No.  4 Buis ended Kgothatso Montjane’s hopes of reaching the final at her country’s top tournament for the second successive year. Buis went on to beat the South African fourth seed 63 63 and will now bid to end Ellerborck’s title defence after the German world No. 5 ended any prospect of an all-Dutch final when she edged past  world No. 9 Sharon Walraven 64 75.

Two rounds of women’s doubles matches took place and the day ended with partnerships featuring both German and Dutch players set to face each other in Wednesday’s final as top seeds Katharine Kruger and Walraven prepare to take on second seeds Buis and Ellerbrock.

Kramer to face top seed Lapthorne in quad singles final

In the quad singles world No. 4 Lapthorne will bid for his fifth ITF 1 Series title after coming from behind in his semifinal to beat former world No. 1 Shraga Weinberg of Israel 26 61 64. However, there will be Israeli representation in the final after Boaz Kramer ended the hopes of the home supporters when he beat South African second seed Lucas Sithole 63 26 60.

Neither seeded pairing will feature in the quad doubles final after Kramer and Weinberg won their semifinal against Italian top seeds Marco Innocenti and Giuseppe Polidori 62 06 63. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Azman Hasan and American Marc McLean put up a fine effort to beat British second seeds Antony Cotterill and Adam Field 64 60.

The last day of play will also include both the semifinals and final of the men’s doubles after all four seeded pairings won their quarterfinals, despite third seeds Miki and Weekes needing a deciding set before earning a hard won 62 46 76 win over South Africa’s Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi.