18 Jul 2012

Gerard ends Scheffers title defence

Match Report

Photo: Roy Smiljanic PhotographyJoachim Gerard (BEL)

World No. 14 Joachim Gerard reached his second men’s singles quarterfinal at the British Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, when the Belgian ended the title defence of world No. 2 Maikel Scheffers on a rain-hit second day of play at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Gerard broke the Dutch player’s serve to take a 3-1 lead and then won the last two games of the opening set, but was only able to take the third game of the second set as Scheffers forced a third and final set. 

The decider was something of a roller coaster as Gerard gained an immediate break, only to slip 3-2 behind as Scheffers fought to keep his title defence alive. However, Gerard managed to string together the last three games of the match to close out a 63 16 64 victory after two hours and two minutes.

“I played a good first set and forced him into some mistakes, but I let my level drop in the second set and didn’t push as hard and made too many mistakes,” said Gerard. “I got my level back for the third set and it went my way, then his way, so I was really glad to hold on for the win. The wind didn’t make it easy but I learned how to play with it.”

There will be two Frenchmen in the quarterfinals and one of them will be in the semifinals after world No. 1 Stephane Houdet secured his second 60 61 victory in successive days as he beat Colombia’s Eliecer Oquendo. Houdet will now play eighth seed Michael Jeremiasz after Jeremiasz dropped just one more game than Houdet in beating Britain’s Alex Jewitt 60 62.

Gerard’s quarterfinal opponent will be world No. 10 Gordon Reid, one of two Britons to reach the last eight after Reid defeated South Africa’s Mathonsi 60 61. The all-British contest between David Phillipson, who upset world No. 6 Nicolas Peifer on the opening day, and Marc McCarroll ended with Phillipson reaching his second British Open quarterfinal after he wrapped up a 63 62 win over his compatriot. Phillipson will face 2010 British Open runner-up Ronald Vink of the Netherlands in this year’s quarter-finals after world  No. 4Vink’s 64 61 win over Frederic Cattaneo of France.

Meanwhile, an enticing set of quarterfinals will also see Japanese world No. 3 and three-time British Open champion Shingo Kunieda take on Japan Open champion Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina.  Kunieda beat his countryman Takuya Miki 63 63, with seventh seed Fernandez fending off Dutch world No. 9 Robin Ammerlaan 64 62.   

Griffioen holds on to beat Kamiji in third set

The match of the day in the women’s singles saw world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands drop a first set tiebreak against Japan’s world No. 11 Yui Kamiji, but Griffioen then come back strongly to book her place in the quarterfinals.

Griffioen led 4-1 and 5-2 in the opening set, but Kamiji came back to 5-5 before a short rain delay and went on to take the lead for the first time at 6-5 before Griffioen forced the tiebreak.

Griffioen regrouped and dropped just the third game of the second set, but with both players having got one game on the board in the decider play was suspended due to rain. When the match resumed indoors Griffioen won five of the last seven games and although Kamiji temporarily interrupted Griffioen’s progress to make it 5-3, the world No. 3 held on to complete a 67(6) 61 63 victory.

“I made a good start to the match, but then lost a set point and I think I let that affect me as I went on to lose the tiebreak. But I managed to keep my level up in the second set and had found my rhythm by the time the match was taken indoors in the third set,“ said Griffioen, who is among the game’s leading players to have been beaten by Kamiji, the world No.1 ranked junior. 

“When you play Yui you know you’re in for a hard match, but I also enjoy playing her, as there are lots of good rallies and I managed to keep my focus to get the win,” added the Dutchwoman, who eventually sealed a 67(6) 61 63 victory.

Griffioen faces a tough quarterfinal against Australian sixth seed Daniela di Toro, who emulated defending champion Esther Vergeer in winning her opening match this year without dropping a game.

Vergeer will face world No. 5 Marjolein Buis in the only all-Dutch quarterfinal, while German world No. 4 Sabine Ellerbrock and seventh seed Lucy Shuker of Great Britain will play each other for a place in the semifinals after they also eased to early victories.

At the bottom of the women’s draw Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot and eighth seed Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa were both extended in the first sets of their respective matches against Katharine Kruger of Germany and Johana Martinez of Colombia, but both players eased though their second sets, with van Koot winning 76(1) 61 and Montjane recording a 75 61 win.

Wagner holds off Weinberg as all four seeds reach quad semis

All four seeded players have reached Friday's quad singles semifinals, with the quarterfinal between former British Open champions David Wagner of USA and Israel’s Shraga Weinberg producing some stern resistance from world No. 10 Weinberg.

World No. 1 Wagner took the first set, but their match was one of those to be completed indoors after thundery showers descended on Nottingham on Wednesday afternoon. The suspension of play outside came with the players level at 1-1 in the second set, and although Wagner won five of the next six games played indoors to complete his 63 62 victory, finalising the win was not easy.

“Shraga’s a good player and will always provide a big challenge and keep fighting, which he showed today when he saved five match points before I finally got the win,” said Wagner.

For the second successive year British duo Jamie Burdekin and Andrew Lapthorne will feature in the semifinals after fourth seed and world No. 6 Burdekin beat American Bryan Barten 62 61 to book his place in the last four against Wagner.

Third seed Lapthorne eased past South Africa’s Lucas Sithole 61 63 and will now take on second seed and world No. 3 Noam Gershony, who dominated his opening match against Britain’s Adam Field to win 61 60. 

British Open Draws

Order of Play - Thursday, 19 July 2012