Photo: Philippe BuissinAniek van Koot (NED)
LIVE SCORING FROM THE N£C WHEELCHAIR TENNIS MASTERS WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE.
The draw for the 2012 N£C Wheelchair Tennis Masters took place on Tuesday evening at Mechelen City Hall, Belgium.
World No. 1 and defending champion Stephane Houdet of France has been drawn alongside world No. 4 Ronald Vink of the Netherlands, world No. 5 Michael Jeremiasz of France and world No. 7 and former two-time NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden in Pool 1 for the round-robin phase of the men’s competition.
Houdet will face fellow Frenchman Jeremiasz in his opening pool match, while Vink faces Olsson.
In Pool 2, 2009 champion and world No.2 Maikel Scheffers is drawn to play two-time Paralympic men’s singles gold medallist and world No. 3 Shingo Kunieda of Japan as well as the event’s two debutants, Argentina’s world No. 6 Gustavo Fernandez and world No. 10 Gordon Reid of Great Britain.
Scheffers faces Fernandez in his opening match, while Kunieda will open his bid for his first NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters title with a rematch of July’s British Open final against Reid.
Van Koot heads three Dutch players in women’s Pool 1
In the women’s singles, 2011 runner-up and world No. 2 Aniek van Koot faces two of her fellow Dutchwomen, world No. 5 Jiske Griffioen and world No. 8 Sharon Walraven, as well as world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane, who this year becomes the first African player to contest the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.
Van Koot plays Walraven and Griffioen faces Montjane in the opening round of matches in Pool 1 of the women’s event, which will see a new name added to the roll of honour in the absence of world No. 1 and 14-time NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Esther Vergeer.
Pool 2 sees Germany’s world No. 3 Sabine Ellerbrock, the highest ranked non-Dutch player, open her bid at her second NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters against Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker, who is contesting the year-end championship on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour for the third time.
World No. 4 Marjolein Buis, who was a semifinalist in 2011 alongside Griffioen, van Koot and Vergeer, opens her account this year against local Belgian favourite and world No. 9 Annick Sevenans.
Wagner to play Taylor and Lapthorne to face Hard in opening quad matches
With all four players in the quad singles set to face each other in round-robin competition over the next three days, world No. 1 and former four-time NEC Masters champion David Wagner will face fellow American and world No. 5 Nick Taylor in his opening match this year.
Meanwhile, the other quad singles match provides a fascinating opening match between world No. 4 Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain, who was runner-up on his NEC Masters debut in 2011, and world No. 8 Anders Hard of Sweden. Lapthorne and Hard have beaten each other twice this season, but Hard’s two wins over Lapthorne have both come in London, at the Eton Manor International, the Test Event for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and in the first round of September’s Games.