18 Nov 2006

Norfolk claims Quad title, while Ammerlaan and Kunieda reach Men's final


NEWS ARTICLE

A dramatic penultimate day at the NEC Singles Masters on Saturday saw Peter Norfolk (GBR) claim his first Masters title.

Meanwhile, Robin Ammerlaan (NED) and Shingo Kuneida (JPN) will fight out the year-end World No 1 ranking in Sunday's Men's Singles final in Amsterdam and Sharon Walraven (NED) will take on compatriot and eight-time NEC Singles Masters champion Esther Vergeer in the Women's final.

World No 1 Norfolk ensured his place in Saturday's Quad final after beating World No 2 David Wagner (USA) 62 62 in his second round robin pool match on Thursday and looked to be easing to another victory in the final when taking an impressive first set 61. However, in a high quality contest Wagner started well in the second set and raced to a 41 lead before Norfolk started hitting the cornersof the court and came back to seal a 61 64 victory, having hit 42 winners and six aces to Wagner's 23 winners and two aces. The Briton's victory ended Wagner's bid for a hat-trick of successive NEC Masters titles.

Meanwhile, World No 4 Giuseppe Polidori (ITA) upset the current world rankings to defeat World No 3 and last year's runner-up Nick Taylor (USA) 67(4) 63 64 in the play-off for third and fourth places.

2005 ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champion Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) will not have the chance of finishing as the year-end World No 1 for the second succesive year after losing out to current World No 1 Robin Ammerlaan (NED) in Saturday's Men's singles semi-finals.

Jeremiasz, currenltly the World No 3 and one of three players in with a chance of finishing 2006 as World No 1 before this week's en-of-year highlight on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, began his semi-final against Ammerlaan (NED) encouragingly as he clinched a first set tie-break 74. However, four-time NEC Masters champion Ammerlaan remains on course to finish the year as World No 1 for the very first time after fighting back to seal a 67(4) 61 64 victory.

What is certain is that a new name will be added to the list of year-end World No 1's in the Men's game after Shingo Kunieda also beat compatriot Satoshi Saida (JPN) in three sets in the other semi-final. Saida made a great start to Saturday's match, taking the first set 61, but Kunieda, the winner of two Super Series titles this year, fought back superbly to seal a 16 64 61 victory and a place in his first NEC Masters final.

On a good day for Dutch players, the play-offs for the minor places in the Men's Singles brought victories for Ronald Vink (NED) and compatriot Maikel Scheffers. World No 6 Vink overturned World No 5 Tadeusz Kruszelnikci (POL) 63 64 in his play-off, while World No 8 Scheffers defeated World No 7 Martin Legner (AUT) 63 63 in Saturday's other play-off.

The semi-finals in the Women's Singles saw World No 3 Sharon Walraven (NED) deny World No 2 Florence Gravellier (FRA) a place in her second successive NEC Masters final. Walraven edged out Gravellier 64 64 in their semi-final to earn the right to play World No 1 Esther Vergeer (NED) in Sunday's final. The incomparable Vergeer stayed on track for her ninth NEC Masters title after easing past fellow Durtchwoman, 2004 runner-up and World No 4 Jiske Griffioen in the other semi-final.

While Sunday's final will be an all-Dutch contest, Saturday's all-Dutch play-off for fifth and sixth places saw Korie Homan defeat 1997 NEC Masters champion Maaike Smit 62 62. The seventh and eighth place play-off resulted in a close 76(5) 64 win for Young-Suk Hong (KOR) over Karin Suter-Erath (SUI).

2006 NEC Masters Tournament Website

Men's Singles

Women's Singles

Quad Singles - Final Results

Sunday's complete Order of Play can be viewed via the link to the PDF file below.



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