19 May 2007

Houdet, Kunieda, Vergeer and Walraven reach Japan Open finals


NEWS ARTICLE

First-time Super Series finalist Stephane Houdet (FRA) will take on defending champion Shingo Kunieda (JPN) in Sunday's Men's Main Draw Singles final at the Japan Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in Iizuka City, Fukuoka.

Meanwhile, Sharon Walraven will take on Esther Vergeer in an all-Dutch Women's Singles final, while Sarah Hunter (CAN) will face David Wagner (USA) in the Quad Singles final.

Having defeated former champion and second seed Robin Ammerlaan (NED) for the second time this year in Friday's quarter-finals, seventh seed Houdet secured two career landmarks on Saturday as he won another thrilling contest against fourth seed and compatriot Michael Jeremiasz 75 46 75. Houdet's semi-final victory was his first careeer win over Jeremiasz in six meetings and secured the World No 9 a place in his first Super Series final.

While Houdet secured the important points to edge his second three set match in succession, World No 1 Kunieda eased ominously in to another Japan Open final as he beat sixth seed Maikel Scheffer (NED) 61 61. Kunieda has dropped a total of just eight games in four matches to reach the final.

While Kunieda has dropped just eight games in reaching the Men's Main Draw final, in the Women's Singles World No 1 Esther Vergeer (NED) has proved even more dominant, dropping just four games in four matches en route to Sunday's final. The top seed beat the unseeded Sakhorn Khanthasit (THA) 62 60 in Saturday's semi-finals.

Vergeer's only Japan Open title so far came in 2004, but the 25-year-old will start a hot favourite to regain the title on Sunday as she takes on compatriot and fourth seed Walraven, who beat fifth seed Korie Homan (NED) 62 64 in her semi-final.

The other Main Draw singles final will be decided between top seed Wagner and second seed Hunter, who had already secured their final berths on Friday.

The three Main Draw singles finals will be the centre of attention on Sunday after Saturday's penultimate day of play in Fukuoka also saw the Men's Main Draw Doubles and Quad Doubles titles being decided.

Paralympc champions Kunieda and Satoshi Saidfa (JPN) retained the Men's Main Draw Doubles title with a comprehensive 62 60 win over Dutch reigning Doubles Masters Champions Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink.

Meanwhile, the Quad Doubles brought an altogether more exciting finale as top seeds Wagner and Brent Poppen (USA) won a decisive super tie-break againt Hunter and Monique De Beer (NED), Wagner and Poppen coming from behind to prevail 36 75 12-10.

The Women's Doubles will be decided on Sunday in an all Dutch contest between top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Vergeer and second seeds Walravena and Maaike Smit.

2007 Japan Open - Preview

Day 1 Report - Khanthasit and Dong upset seeds in Japan

Day 2 Report - Wang ousts another Women's seed in Japan

Day 3 Report - Dong and Khanthasit continue to star in Japan

Day 4 Report - Houdet and Scheffers reach Japan Open semi-finals

Japan Open Official Website



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