Photo: Ian FarrantMichael Jeremiasz (FRA) and Tom Egberink (NED)
Doubles Masters champions Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Michael Jeremiasz of France beat the all-French reigning US Open champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in a thrilling semifinal on the second day of the Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles event, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Egberink and Jeremiasz will play two-time Wimbledon champions Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands after the top seeded all-Dutch pairing defeated British duo Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid in the day’s first semifinal.
Second seeds Houdet and Peifer opened up an early 4-1 lead against Egberink and Jeremiasz before easing to the opening set and then had two match points at 5-4 up in the second set. However, Egberink and Jeremiasz, who are playing only their third tournament together and their first this year, dug deep to force a second set tiebreak, which they won 7-5.
The final set brought some breathtaking tennis and close games throughout as Houdet and Peifer missed the opportunity to take an early 3-1 lead and Egberink served an ace on game point in the ninth game to give himself and Jeremiasz a slender 5-4 lead.
Egberink delivered a sublime backhand to move he and Jeremiasz to within two points of victory, but after another deuce game Houdet and Peifer again drew level at 5-5
After Jeremiasz had held serve Peifer came out to serve to keep he and Houdet in the match, but another game went to deuce and Egberink and Jeremiasz went on to have their first match point, which disappeared after Egberink put a backhand into the net.
However, a second match point was not too far away and this time Houdet’s attempt at a cross court forehand winner caught the top of the net and the ball flew out of court to give Egberink and Jeremiasz a 26 76(7) 75 victory and deny Houdet and Peifer a place in their second Wimbledon final.
“It was the same story as the Doubles Masters, we started slowly and sat back too much and were too passive,” said Jeremiasz, a previous winner of the title with Britain’s Jayant Mistry in 2005 and with Houdet in 2009. “But we have confidence in each other and started to play more attacking tennis and put more and more pressure on Nico (Peifer). There were some big points and we both had fantastic support from friends and family, which is vital at those crucial times.
Ammerlaan and Vink stay on course for third Wimbledon title
Egberink and Jeremiasz will play 2007 and 2008 champions Ammerlaan and Vink in Sunday’s final after they beat McCarroll Reid 62 62 in a match that was much closer than the final score suggests, with many of the games going to deuce.
Ammerlaan and Vink gained an immediate break of serve when Reid doubles faulted on game point in the second game. The British duo kept themselves within striking distance at 3-2 down when they broke Ammerlaan’s serve comfortably, but the Ammerlaan and Vink went on to take the next three games for the set.
With just one point on the board to Ammerlaan and Vink in the second set play was suspended due to rain. On the resumption the Dutch took the game, but McCarroll and Reid fended off four break points to claim the second game after eight deuces.
Two games later Ammerlaan and Vink got the first real breakthrough of the set as Ammerlaan narrowly avoided the net as he raced in to put away a winner for a 3-1 lead and the top seeds went on to drop just one more game to keep themselves on track for a possible third Wimbledon title.
“Robin and Ronald beat us last week in a final set tiebreak in the semifinals at the BNP Paribas French Open after we won the first set, but on the grass here at Wimbledon hopefully we can reverse that,” said Egberink after his victory with Jeremiasz in the second semifinal.
Order of Play - Sunday, 8 July 2012
Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Draws
LIVE SCORING FOR BOTH WOMEN'S AND MEN's FINALS WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE ON THE OFFICIAL WIMBLEDON WEBSITE FROM START OF PLAY (SCHEDULED FOR 12.00 BST).
TV COVERAGE OF BOTH FINALS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON BBC INTERACTIVE (RED BUTTON).