Photo: Paul ZimmerSharon Walraven (NED)
Dutch trio Marjolein Buis, Jiske Griffioen and Sharon Walraven joined Germany’s world No. 2 Sabine Ellerbrock in the women’s singles semifinal after the first day of the Open de la Baie de Somme, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Rue du Moulin, France.
While top seed Ellerbrock has a bye into the last four, the longest match of the day saw world No. 9 Walraven having to come from a set down before securing a quarterfinal win over the second German player In the draw, world No 10 Katharina Kruger.
Kruger took a set off Walraven for just the third time in 14 career meetings, but the Dutchwoman built a 3-0 second set lead en route to completing a 26 62 61 victory that earns her a semifinal against second seed Griffioen Buis ended the singles title ambitions of the only French player in the women’s field, Charlotte Famin, but Famin still put up a good effort against the world No. 5 before Buis finally completed her 63 63 win.
Meanwhile, world No. 3 Griffioen eased to a 60 61 win over her doubles partner, Britain’s Louise Hunt. The reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion will now meet Walraven for the first time this season, with the two Dutch players currently at 15 wins apiece in their career head-to-heads.
The one available place left in the women’s doubles final will be decided during Friday’s second day of play as second seeds Griffiioen and Hunt play Buis and Walraven. Ellerbrock and Kruger have a bye through to the final.
Men’s doubles finalists decided
Joachim Gerard and Shingo Kunieda, who are set to pair up at next month’s ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Mission Viejo, won their first ever match together as they beat Dutch second seeds Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink to reach the men’s doubles final in France.
The Belgian-Japanese pairing put up a fine first-time performance for a comfortable 61 62 victory over three-time Doubles Masters champions Scheffers and Vink.
Gerard and Kunieda will now face another Doubles Masters-bound partnership when they take on Stephane Houdet and Gordon Reid in Saturday’s final.
Top seeds Houdet and Reid also dominated their semifinal, defeating Frederic Cattaneo of France and Evans Maripa of South Africa 61 61.
The men’s singles gets underway on Friday’s second day of play as Britain’s world No. 6 Reid takes on world No. 3 Scheffers. Houdet and Cattaneo carry French hopes as they play on Maripa and Gerard respectively, while world No. 1 Kunieda will face Vink.
De La Puente and Vandorpe earn early wins
Martin de la Puente and Jef Vandorpe won the first two round-robin matches in the junior singles.
De la Puente, a member of Spain’s team that finished runner-up in the junior event at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, sealed a 60 61 win over Justin Peraux, but Vandorpe improved Belgian fortunes in tremendous style as he defeated Rafaile Patronidis of Greece 60 60.