Photo: Lu Guang / Chen GongDavid Wagner (USA)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: The second day of play in the London 2012 Paralympic Tennis Events sees the start of the quad singles and quad doubles events, with the feature match in the quad singles pitching world No. 2 Noam Gershony of Israel against world No. 5 Jamie Burdekin of Great Britain.
With 16 players in the quad singles there are four seeds and Burdekin is the highest ranked player without a seeded position. Gershony and Burdekin are good friends off the court and they have met in two Super Series finals this year, at the French Open and the British Open, with Gershony winning on both occasions. However, Burdekin went out in the first round in Beijing to an Israeli player and will be keen to avoid the same again in front of a home crowd.
Elsewhere, world No. 1 David Wagner begins his quest for his first quad singles gold medal against South Africa’s world No. 7 Lucas Sithole, while Great Britain’s Peter Norfolk opens his bid for a third successive Paralympic gold medal against Mitsuteru Moroishi of Japan.
With the top two seeded pairings of the six partnerships in the quad doubles having first round byes, the remaining two quarterfinals also take place on the second day of play.
Japan’s Shota Kawano and Moroishi will face Italy’s Marco Innocenti and Guseppe Polidori for the right to play British top seeds Andy Lapthorne and Peter Norfolk in the last four. Meanwhile, Israel’s Gershony and Shraga Weinberg will take on Sweden’s Anders Hard and Marcus Jonsson, with the winners earning a guaranteed shot at a medal and semifinal against two-time gold medallists Nick Taylor and David Wagner of USA.
The men’s doubles will also get underway and while all four seeded partnerships have first round byes, Beijing silver medallists Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom of Sweden, the sixth seeds this time in London, will open their challenge against USA’s Steve Baldwin and Noah Yablong.
There will also be keen home interest in seventh seeds Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid, while Alex Jewitt and David Phillipson play Swiss duo Yann Avanthey and Daniel Pellegrina for the right to play Beijing gold medallists and top seeds Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz.
While it’s a day off for the players that have won through to the second round of the women’s singles, the second round in the men’s singles promises some match-ups that may result in some close contests or even the first upsets of the Paralympic Tennis Event.
World No. 14 Tom Egberink will continue his first Paralympic Games journey against world No. 19 Ben Weekes, who is playing in his third Games and reached the second round in Athens in 2004.
One of the most experienced Paralympians in London, USA’s Stephen, who has multiple medals in singles and doubles, continues his latest Games challenge with a tough match against Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, who will be aiming to reach the last for the second Games in a row after making his debut in Beijing.
The only player to have played in all six Paralympic Tennis Events, Austria’s Martin Legner, has a tough match against Phillipson. Phillipson was the only Briton to reach the second round in Beijing four years ago, but then lost to Legner without winning a game. However, with four more years experience under his belt and with a win over Legner on his record since, Phillipson will hope avenge his Beijing loss, especially in front of a home crowd.
Another intriguing match-up pitches Australia’s world No. 23 Adam Kellerman against Satoshi Saida of Japan. Saida is playing in his fifth Paralympic Games and reached the men’s quarterfinals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. By comparison, Kellerman is playing in his first Paralympics, but has produced some impressive results this season.
Follow the scores from the Paralympic Tennis Event on the Schedule page.