Photo: Jacques Cato World of Sport PhotographyTakuya Miki (JPN)
Takuya Miki claimed the outstanding result on Wednesday’s first day of the Japan Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, when defeating his compatriot and seventh seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto for the loss of just two games in the first round of the men’s singles in Iizuka City.
World No. 37 Miki, currently ranked some 20 places below his career best, eased to a 61 61 win over Fujimoto in one of a string of all-Japanese contests to interest the home supporters. Miki goes on to face another of his countrymen, Ryoichi To, with a place in the last eight at stake.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Fujio Muzitani made light of being ranked more than 200 places lower than his opponent Sergio Naduville of Mexico, Muzitani recording a 64 61 win that earns him a second round match against Australian fifth seed Ben Weekes, who arrives in Iizuka having helped Australia to win men’s World Group II at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup.
Aside from Fujimoto, the remaining seven seeds in the men’s singles all recorded straight sets wins with top seed and world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers joining former champion Satohi Saida in both advancing 60 60. Scheffers is drawn for a possible quarterfinal against Japanese sixth seed Takashi Sanada, while Miki could meet Dutch third seed Tom Egberink if both players come through their second round contests.
Second seed Joachim Gerard of Belgium started strongly with a 62 60 win and is drawn in the same quarter of the draw as Weekes, with Saida and eighth seed Evans Maripa of South Africa also on course to meet in the last eight, barring any further upsets.
Moroishi battles into quad singles quarterfinals
After all being a part of Japan’s team that finished fourth in the quad event at last week’s World Team Cup, Mitsuteru Moroishi, Shota Kawano and Shinichi Hirata all featured in some of Wednesday’s most fascinating quad singles matches.
As the third Super Series event of 2013 got underway, fourth seed Moroishi edged out Kawano 62 46 63 to set up a quarterfinal against Chinese Taipei’s former quad singles finalist Tzu-Hsuan Huang.
Moroishi and Huang are drawn in the same half of the draw as Hirata, who will face world No. 1 and defending champion David Wagner for a place in the semifinals. Hirata won the vital points to beat Hiroshi Toma 64 75, with Wagner having a first round bye.
World No. 5 and second seed Lucas Sithole also had a bye and the South African plays Japan’s Takashi Nagaoka in his opening match, while another former finalist, Canada’s Sarah Hunter, will take on Malaysia’s Azman Hazan.
Two of the only three matches on the opening day of the women’s singles ended in 60 60 wins for Thai players against Chinese Taipei players, as Ratana Techamaneewat eased past Mei Lan Chen and Choosri Inthanin defeated Hul Ling Su. Techamaneewat will face German top seed and defending champion Sabine Ellerbrock in the second round, with Inthanin playing second seed Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands.
Order of Play - Thursday, 30 May 2013