03 Nov 2011

Griffioen and van Koot survive scare

Match Report

Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot (NED)

Wednesday's opening day of play at the 2011 Invacare Doubles Masters at Frans Otten Stadium in Amsterdam included some exciting finishes in each of the men's, women's and quad doubles events and a thrilling victory in a final set tiebreak for Dutch second seeds in the women's event, Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot.

Both women's matches on the first day of play were rematches of the semifinals at Wimbledon in July, with the outcomes being the same, although the patterns of the matches were distinctly different.

Griffioen and van Koot beat British duo Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley in straight sets at Wimbledon, but Shuker and Whiley put up a fine first set display on the hard courts in Amsterdam to seize the advantage.

Griffioen and van Koot gained an early break in the second set, but Shuker and Whiley came back to level the set at 2-2. However, Griffioen and van Koot, who were runners-up in all four Grand Slams in 2011, took the initiative again soon afterwards to force a deciding set.

With Shuker proving outstanding at the net and Whiley hitting searching balls from the back of the court, the British pairing opened up a 4-2 lead in the third sets, but Griffioen and van Koot would not be denied and they won a marathon eighth game to level the set at 4-4 before going on to force a tiebreak.

Shuker and Whiley won the first three points in the tiebreak, but were unable to seal the crucial points that they needed for an upset and Griffioen and van Koot eventually converted the first of two match points to wrap up a 36 63 76(4) victory.

"It was a real fight out there today and we had to battle hard," said van Koot afterwards. "Their level of tennis was much higher today than it was at Wimbledon, so good on them, but we kept trying. Mentally it was a very hard match, but I'm very happy that we got through it."

The other women's match saw Esther Vergeer and Sharon Walraven take on their fellow Dutchwoman Marjolein Buis and Annick Sevenans of Belgium.

Buis and Sevenans managed to snatch the second set of their semifinal against Vergeer and Walraven at Wimbledon and after they took a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set on Wednesday it looked as if another comeback might have been on the cards, but Vergeer and Walraven went on to dominate the rest of the match and won six games in succession to seal a 62 62 victory.

Cattaneo and Peifer hold on to win their opening pool match

The match of the day in the men's round-robin pools came in Pool B as former semifinalists Frederic Cattaneo and Nicolas Peifer came from a set down to beat Britain's Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid.

McCarroll and Reid gained an early break to lead 3-1 in the first set and although Cattaneo and Peifer came back to lead 4-3, a buoyant McCarroll and Reid provided the possibility of an upset as they took the set.

However, Cattaneo and Peifer largely dominated the second set and won the points that mattered at the end of the decider to prevail 46 62 75.

The other match in Pool B on the opening day saw second seeds and 2009 and 2010 runners-up Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands and Stephane Houdet of France earn a relatively comfortable 62 62 win over the all-French partnership of David Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi.

Meanwhile, another Dutch-French combination began their first Invacare Doubles Masters as partners in confident fashion, Tom Egberink and Michael Jeremiasz defeating former champions Stefan Olsson and Peter Visktrom of Sweden in straight sets. Egberink and Jeremiasz battled through a tough contest, but last weekend's Nottingham Indoor champions eventually won 64 63 to maintain their unbeaten record as doubles partners.

The final match on court on the first day of round-robin competition resulted in a straight forward victory for Dutch defending champions Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink, who defeated Frederic Cazeaudumec of France and Austrian Martin Legner 60 63.

Barten and Hard repel Italian challenge to win opener

Bryan Barten and Anders Hard gained a hard won opening victory in the quad doubles event after holding off Italian duo Marco Innocenti and Giuseppe Polidori in three sets

Barten and Hard came from 4-5 down in the second set to lead 6-5, but they were unable to secure victory in straight sets, despite having two match points in a tiebreak. Instead, it was Innocenti and Raffaele who dug deep to force a decider on their second set point, but they could not clinch the important points deep into the third set and Barten and Hard emerged the victors 63 67(8) 64.

The day's other quad match ended in a comfortable opening win for four-time Doubles Masters champions and fourth seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner of USA. Taylor and Wagner opened their bid to regain the title with a 62 62 win over Antonio Raffaele of Italy and Dorrie Timmermans-van Hall of the Netherlands.

Thursday's second day of play again features some enticing match-ups, not least the women's contest between Vergeer and Walraven and Griffioen and van Koot, which will be a rematch of all of the four Grand Slam finals this season.

Meanwhile, Egberink and Jeremiasz's unbeaten doubles record will be tested to the full extent when they take on Scheffers and Vink.