Photo: Reg CaldecottJiske Griffioen (NED)
The men’s, women’s and quad singles quarterfinals will all take place on Friday’s third day of the Airports Company South Africa Gauteng Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after Thursday’s matches in Benoni all went according to form, with the eight seeded men’s and women’s players making comfortable progress.
With the quarterfinal line-up for the quad singles already decided, the second day of matches ended with three French and three Japanese advancing to the men’s singles quarterfinals.
Out of the trio of Frenchmen to reach the last eight, fourth seed Michael Jeremiasz was the only one to drop a game, but the world No. 9 yielded only one game as he beat Zimbabwe’s Nyasha Mharakurwa. Meanwhile, fifth seed Nicolas Peifer and sixth seed Frederic Cattaneo both secured 60 60 wins over South African opponents Ishmael Tshipuke and Thato Tsomole respectively.
Cattaneo faces second seed Gustavo Fernandez in the last eight after world No. 4 Fernandez also sealed a 60 60 win over Marshall Marsh, one of the six South African players to exit the men’s singles on the second day.
Eighth seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto dropped the most games of any of the seeds in the second round, defeating Austria’s Wolfgang Stieg 60 62 as he set up a contest against Jeremiasz. Should Fujimoto upset Jeremiasz on Friday he will reach the Gauteng Open semifinals for the second successive year.
However, Eliphas Maripa’s bid to reach the last four for the second year in a row came to an end against world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan. Kunieda continued his first competitive NEC Tour visit to South Africa with a 60 61 win over Maripa ahead of playing Peifer for a place in the semifinals.
Third seed Gordon Reid of Great Britain and seventh seed Takuya Miki will contest the remaining quarterfinal after both dropping just one game apiece to South Africa’s Leon Els and Sean de Hilster.
Montjane leads home hopes in women’s singles
Five of the eight matches in the last 16 of the women’s singles ended in 60 60 victories as defending champion Kgothatso Montjane led three South African players into the quarterfinals.
The semifinal in the bottom half of the women’s draw is guaranteed to feature one South African player and one British player.
Third seed Montjane and seventh seed Rose van der Meer beat their countrywomen Siphokazi Fuma and Monica Ngwenya without the loss of a single game to progress to an all-South African quarterfinal. Meanwhile second seed Lucy Shuker defeated junior player Mariska Venter 61 63 and fifth seed Jordanne Whiley eased past Lethaba Shai 60 60 to ensure an all-British quarterfinal.
In the top half of the women’s draw Dutch top seed Jiske Griffioen and fourth seed Katharina Kruger of German both recorded 60 60 wins over South African opponents. Griffioen will now face sixth seed Christine Schoenn of France, who opened her campaign with a 62 61 win over Thando Hlatswayo, while eighth seed Mabel Mankgele beat Tsholofelo Sibanda 63 62 in one of the three women’s matches between South African players.
While it was a rest day in the quad singles, all men’s, women’s and quad doubles events all got underway, with Morocco’s Ayoub Ettali and Soluth Africa’s Arrie Opperman coming from a set down to win their opening match and earn a men’s doubles quarterfinal against top seeds Jeremiasz and Reid. Els and Tshipuke also won a tough three set contest and go on to face fourth seeds Maripa and Peifer.
The semifinal line-ups were also completed in both the women’s doubles and the quad doubles.