Tadeusz Kruszelnicki (POL)
A new name will be added to the roll of honour of men’s singles champions at this week’s Sardinia Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after Poland’s Tadeusz Kruszelnicki won a thrilling contest to beat third seed Martin Legner of Austria in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Fifth seed Kruszelnicki caused a minor upset as he beat former two-time Sardinia Open champion Legner in a final set tiebreak, securing a 64 26 76(5) victory to claim his 34rd win over his rival in their 39 career head-to-heads that stretch back to 1996.
Kruszelnicki will play second seed Frederic Cattaneo in the semifinals in Alghero after the Frenchman defeated sixth seed Fabian Mazzei of Italy 62 64. Kruszelnicki also has a lead in career head-to-heads against Cattaneo, having won five of their seven meetings to date.
In the top half of the men’s draw world No. 10 Joachim Gerard of Belgium reached the semifinals for the second successive year after beating eighth seed Laszlo Farkas of Hungary 60 64, while Australian fourth seed Ben Weekes eased to a 61 61 over seventh seeded Frenchman Lahcen Majdi.
While it was a rest day in the women’s singles, the quad singles finalists were decided, with Canada’s Sarah Hunter storming into the title decider at her first tournament of the year outside of North America after beating Austrian second seed Peter Tatscl 60 60.
The other semifinal was much tighter, but top seed Antonio Raffaele of Italy eventually prevailed as he saw off Sweden’s Christer Jansson 76 64.
Hunter and Jansson will now meet for the third time, but have not played each other since Hunter won their two matches in 2002.
Meanwhile, the second of three days of round-robin matches in the quad doubles ended with Jansson and Raffaele guaranteeing themselves the title when they maintained their unbeaten record to win the second of their three matches.
Jansson and Raffaele beat Sweden’s Petter Edstrom and Hunter 62 62, having dropped just two games in their opening match against the all-Austrian duo of Tatschl and Markus Wallner earlier in the week.
The line-ups for the men’s and women’s doubles finals were also decided, with the top two seeded pairings reaching the two finals.
Gerard and Legner beat fourth seeds Farkas and Mirolsav Brychta of the Czech Republic 76(1) 62 as the top seeds moved in to the men’s doubles final, but second seeds Kruszelnicki and Cattaneo had a much tougher task before progressing, but held on in a match tiebreak to beat third seeds Mazzei and Weekes 61 16 (10-8).
Top seeds Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Dutchwoman Sharon Walraven eased into the women’s doubles final after beating Danish duo Malene Olesen and Luise Willerslev-Olsen 61 60.
It took longer for Swiss second seeds Karin Suter and Gabriela Buehler to get on top in their semifinal against Italy’s Silvia de Maria and Marianna Lauro, but once they had snatched the opening set Suter and Buehler eased away in the second set to wrap up a 76(5) 60 victory.
Sardinia Open Draws, Results and Order of Play