Photo: Jeanna CourterAntony Cotterill (GBR)
Antony Cotterill produced the stand-out result on Wednesday’s first day of the Atlanta Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after beating fourth seed Bryan Barten to reach the quad singles quarterfinals.
World No. 12 Cotterill and his upcoming American opponent Greg Hasterok both had to go to three sets before advancing, with Cotterill building on an early break in the final set against world No. 9 Barten to prevail 63 46 63.
Hasterok had an even closer match as he was stretched to a final set tiebreak by Canada’s Gary Luker before snatching a 61 67(1) 76(2) victory. Cotterill and Hasterok will now go head-to-head for a place in the semifinals.
With world No. 1 David Wagner having had a first round bye, the top seed will face Francois Trawalter in his opening match.
In the bottom half of the quad draw, British second seed Andy Lapthorne faces a quarterfinal against Canada’s Sarah Hunter after both secured 60 60 wins along with third seed Nick Taylor, who will play now fellow American David Buck.
Weekes made to work for quarterfinal berth
Fourth seed Ben Weekes was the only one of the eight seeded players who were taken to three sets en route to the men’s singles quarterfinals. Weekes recovered from a slow start against Korea Republic’s Ji-Hwan Lee to win 67(5) 61 62. Weekes now faces former world No. 3 and sixth seed Satoshi Saida, who eased to a 60 63 win over Canada’s Eric Gilbert as the Japanese player began what is just his second NEC Tour event of the year.
Elsewhere, former world No. 1 Maikel Scheffers eased through his first match since February. After surgery for an elbow injury sustained in his semifinal at Rotterdam’s IITF 1 Series World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Scheffers marked his return to the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour with a resounding 60 60 win over Brazil’s Rafael Medeiros.
The Dutch top seed and defending Atlanta Open champion faces a second Brazilian opponent, eighth seed Carlos Santos, for a place in the semifinals.
American Tony Lara, Thomas Vinatier of France and Brazil’s Daniel Rodrigues all had two matches on the opening day of play. After completing the line-up for the last 16 all three players subsequently bowed out, but not before Rodrigues gave second seed Gordon Reid a tough opening challenge. Reid came through 63 63 and goes on to face seventh seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan.
Third seed Michal Jeremiasz joined Scheffers in posting an early 60 60 win, with the Frenchman going on to play British fifth seed Marc McCarroll.
Kruger fends of Famin to reach last eight
Two German players and two British players are among the eight seeds who have progressed to the women’s singles quarterfinals, but German’s Katharina Kruger had to battle for her place in the last eight after a tough opening match against Charlotte Famin of France.
World No. 11 Kruger eventually pulled through 46 63 64 and is now likely to face another tough challenge from the player ranked immediately below here, fifth seed Jordanne Whiley. After winning last week’s Israel Open, the British fifth seed began her bid for back-to-back titles with a 62 60 win over Emilie Chene of France.
World No. 2 Sabine Ellerbrock’s first match since reaching her first Grand Slam final at January’s Australian Open ended in a 63 60 win over Pauline Helouin of France. Since the Australian Open top seed Ellerbrock has had to go back to her teaching career, having taken leave during her preparations for the London 2012 Paralympics.
Ellerbrock faces eighth seed Emmy Kaiser next after Kaiser’s 62 61 win over fellow American Kate Stuteville
Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park was given a first round walkover and will now play 2012 semifinalist Sharon Walraven for a place in the semifinals. Third seed Walraven, second seed Lucy Shuker of Great Britain and Chilean sixth seed all claimed straight sets win, with 2012 Atlanta Open runner-up Shuker now taking on Mardones.