02 Aug 2008

Griffioen scares Vergeer in Utrecht


NEWS ARTICLE

After a rest day on Friday in the main draw singles events, Saturday's semifinals at the Mercedes Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, produced great excitement, with Jiske Griffioen (NED) taking Esther Vergeer (NED) to three sets for the first time ever.

World No 1 Vergeer had won all 35 previous NEC Tour matches against world No 4 Griffioen in straight sets and took the first set of Saturday's women's singles semifinal in Utrecht comfortably. The nearest Griffioen had previously got to taking a set of Vergeer was a 75 first set in Brazil in 2005, but as the two young ladies from Woerden in the Netherlands went in to Saturday's second set, Griffioen performed superbly on the big points to win it 63. Griffioen continued to perform well in the third and deciding set, but Vergeer took two games in succession to close out the match 61 36 64.

Previous to Saturday's contest against Griffioen, world No 2 Korie Homan had had most success against Vergeer and the world's top two Dutch players will go head-to-head in Sunday's final in Utrecht after Homan beat fifth seed Florence Gravellier (FRA) 75 61 in the other semifinal.

Third seed Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) upset top seed Robin Ammerlaan (NED) to reach the men's main draw singles final, where he will meet sixth seed Stefan Olsson (SWE), who also upset fourth seed Maikel Scheffers (NED) on Saturday.

After a rest day on Friday in the main draw singles events, Saturday's semifinals at the Mercedes Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, produced great excitement, with Jiske Griffioen (NED) taking Esther Vergeer (NED) to three sets for the first time ever.

World No 1 Vergeer had won all 35 previous NEC Tour matches against world No 4 Griffioen in straight sets and took the first set of Saturday's women's singles semifinal in Utrecht comfortably. The nearest Griffioen had previoulsy got to taking a set of Vergeer was a 75 first set in Brazil in 2005, but as the two young ladies from Woerden in the Netherlands went in to Saturday's second set, Griffioen performed superbly on the big points to win it 63. Griffioen continued to perform well in the third and deciding set, but Vergeer took two games in succession to close out the match 61 36 64.

Previous to Saturday's contest against Griffioen, world No 2 Korie Homan had had most success against Vergeer and the world's top two Dutch players will go head-to-head in Sunday's final in Utrecht after Homan beat fifth seed Florence Gravellier (FRA) 75 61 in the other semifinal.

Third seed Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) upset top seed Robin Ammerlaan (NED) to reach the men's main draw singles final, where he will meet sixth seed Stefan Olsson (SWE), who also upset fourth seed Maikel Scheffers (NED) on Saturday.

Jeremiasz's only two previous wins over Ammerlaan in the last two seasons had been at the Australian Open, but the world No 4 ranked Frenchman changed all that with a confident display in the semifinals in Utrecht, securing a 64 62 victory.

Olsson maintained his fine record against higher ranked top 10 players this season, the world No 9 beating Scheffers 62 62 to repeat his win over the Duthcman in the semifinals of last month's Belgian Open.

There was also drama in the semifinals of the quad singles, with Basn Van Erp (NED) coming from a set down to edge out an inspired Antonio Raffaele (ITA).

Raffaele continued his fine form this week by taking the first set off Van Erp for the loss of just one game, but Van Erp tutrned the tables to take the second set by the same score. Little could separate to the two players in the final set, but Van Erp just managed to avoid a deciding set tienbreak as she finally triumphed 16 61 75.

Van Erp plays defending champion and world No 1 David Wagner (USA) in Sunday's final after the top seed beat fourth seed Sarah Hunter (CAN) 64 60 in the other semifinal.

The men's main draw doubles final was alread assured of being an French-Dutch contest, such was the line-up in Saturday's semifinals. Top seeds Stephane Houdet and Jeremiasz won the all-French contest in the top half of the draw, beating third seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Nicolas Peifer 63 62. Houdet and Jeremiasz, who are looking for their second title in successive weeks following their Brtiish Open triumph, will not play second seeds Scheffers and Ronald Vink (NED). Scheffers and Vink beat the other Dutch pairing heading for the Beijing Paralympics, Ammerlaan and Eric Stuurman, 57 63 61 in the other semifinal.

Last year Utrecht was the sight of Griffioen and Vergeer's only loss in 38 tournaments as a doubles partnership. On that occasion Vergeer went in the match with an injury, but the top seeds will hope to avoid both eventualities this year after setting up another all-Dutch women's doubles final against second seeds Homan and Sharon Walraven.

Griffioen and Vergeer beat another set of their compatriots to reach the final, overcoming third seeds Maaike Smit and Aniek Van Koot 62 62 in the semifinals. Smit paired up with Homan in the partnership that beat Griffoen and Vergeer last year and Homan will be on the other side of the net again in Sunday's title decider, this time parntering Sharon Walraven. Homan and Walraven beat fourth seeds Katharina Kruger (GER) and Mie Yaosa (JPN) 64 62 in their semifinal.

Sunday's quad doubles final will see top seeds Nick Taylor and Wagner face second seeds Monique de Beer (NED) and Hunter. Taylor and Wagner beat Italians Marco Innocenti and Raffaele 60 62 in their semifinal, while de Beer and Hunter Swedish pairing Johan Andersson and Christer Jansson 62 76(4).

Mercedes Open Official Website

Mercedes Open - Latest Drawsheets

PREVIOUS STORIES

Raffaele shocks Andersson at Mercedes Open

Van Erp upsets Taylor in Utrecht thriller

Olsson beats Houdet at Mercedes Open



LATEST NEWS