26 Jan 2007

Jeremiasz-Kunieda and Gravellier-Vergeer reach Australian Open finals


NEWS ARTICLE

Defending champion Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) beat World No 1 Robin Ammerlaan (NED) for the first time in their last four meetings on Friday as he secured his place against Shingo Kunieda (JPN) in Saturday's Men's Singles final at the Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open at Melbourne Park.

Third seed Jeremiasz opened Friday's semi-final against former champion Ammerlaan impressively, easing to the first set 61 in just 18 minutes. With the second set lasting exactly double the length of time as the first Ammerlaan maintained his challenge by virtue of just one consolidated break, but Jeremiasz was back in scintillating form again in the decider and wrapped up a 61 46 61 victory, having committed just four unforced errors during the course of the 75 minute contest.

In the other all-Japanese semi-final, second seed Kunieda got an amazing 92% of his first serves in as he eased to the first set against compatriot and fourth seed Satoshi Saida 62. Although Saida fought hard to readdress the balance in the second set, Kunieda maintained his form and went on to clinch a place in his first Australian Open final with a 64 62 win.

In the Women's semi-finals, World No 1 Esther Vergeer (NED) maintained her bid for a fifth Australian Open title as she eased past compatriot and third seed Sharon Walraven 63 61 in just 48 minutes.

In a repeat of last year's final Vergeer will now face second seed Florence Gravellier (FRA) on Saturday after the Frenchwoman defeated fourth seed Jiske Griffioen (NED) 63 62 in the other semi-final.

On a good day for Kunieda, he partnered Ammerlaan to a resounding victory in the Men's Doubles final, the Japanese-Dutch pairing clinching their first doubles title in only their second tournament as partners.

In a rematch of the 2006 Doubles Masters semi-final against Dutch duo Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink, reigning Doubles Masters champions Scheffers and Vink secured a quick break at the beginning of the match to lead 20. However, from their on Ammerlaan and Kunieda always had the better of the exchanges as they reeled of the next six games to take the opening set.

In the second set Scheffers and Vink created opportunities for themselves to get on the scoreboard, but once again it was Ammerlaan and Kunieda who always had the final say in each of the games as they moved relentlessly on to a 62 60 victory in just 55 minutes.

In the Women's Doubles final top seeds Griffioen and Vergeer kept their unbeaten record as a partnership in tact, but not before a real struggle against Gravellier and Korie Homan (NED).

Griffien and Vergeer looked to be on course for a comfortable victory when they breezed through the first set 60, but at 43 up in the seocond set Gravellier and Homan managed to concert the second of two game points to open up a clear advantage and then went on to level the match in the very next game on the second of two set points.

With the title being settled in a championship tie-break, both partnerships matched each other for the first six points of the decider before Griffioen and Vergeer asserted to move 73 ahead. Although Gravellier and Homan rallied to close the gap to 86, Griffioen and Vergeer went on to convert the first of three match points to seal a 60 36 (10-6) victory.

To view the latest drawsheets on the Official Australian Open Website, please click on the links below.

Men's Singles

Women's Singles

Men's Doubles

Women's Doubles

Saturday's Order of Play at Melbourne Park will see both Men's and Women's Singles finals played out on one of Melbourne Park's show courts, the Margaret Court Arena.

Play is due to commence on the Margaret Court Arena at 12.30pm local time, beginning with the Girls Singles final. Following the conclusion of the Girls Singles, the 2007 Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open Women's Singles final between Esther Vergeer (NED) and Florence Gravellier (FRA) will take place. The Men's Singles final between Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) will follow.

LIVE SCORING on both finals will be available on the Official Australian Open Website by clicking here.

To view the full Order of Play for Saturday, 27th January, please click here.



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