20 Nov 2010

Norfolk wins third NEC Singles Masters Quad title


NEWS ARTICLE

By  James Hamill-Reeves

Last year's champion, Peter Norfolk successfully defended his title at the NEC Singles Masters in Amsterdam with a straight sets victory over USA's David Wagner in today's Quad final.

Meanwhile, on a truly historic day at the Frans Otten Stadium, Esther Vergeer registered her 400th straight victory, while Stephane Houdet ended the 107 match winning streak of men's world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda.

QUADS: Norfolk retains title

Top seed Norfolk broke early in the match to take the first set 63. World No. 2 Wagner put up a brave resistance and looked on course to take the second set when he went 41 up, however the British world No. 1 was too strong and came back with two breaks of serves to take the match to a tie-break. Norfolk then ensured he went home with the winner's trophy by serving up two aces and two winners to power to victory 73 and take the second set. This was the second time in a week that Norfolk had prevailed over Wagner, but this 63 76(3) victory clearly delighted Peter, who was all smiles when presented with the winner's cheque by NEC's Masahiko Murakami.

WOMEN: Vergeer extends winning streak to 400 matches

Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands registered her 400th successive singles victory on Saturday when she beat her compatriot Jiske Griffioen in the women's single semifinals.

The 29-year-old Dutchwoman, who holds one of the longest winning streaks ever in world sport, showed few signs of any nerves for the sense of occasion at surpassing another notable landmark as she dropped just three games in defeating world No. 4 Griffioen 63 60 in another peerless performance.

Vergeer faces current world No. 2 and former NEC Masters finalist Daniela di Toro of Australia in Sunday's women's singles final as the Dutch star bids for her 13th NEC Singles Masters title. Di Toro, who was an NEC Masters finalist in 1996, dropped a first set tie-break to Dutch world No. 3 Sharon Walraven, but dominated the remainder of the match to secure a 67(4) 60 62 victory.

MEN: Houdet celebrates birthday by ending Kunieda's 106 match winning streak

World No. 1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan is still looking for an elusive first NEC singles Masters title after Frenchman Stephane Houdet celebrated his 40th birthday by ending Kunieda's 106 match winning streak in the men's singles semfinals.

World No. 4 Houdet, who could not even reach the semifinals in 2009, managed to earn the decisive break in both sets of the final to beat Kunieda 75 64.

Sweden's Stefan Olsson, who became the youngest ever NEC Singles Masters champion in 2008 at the age of 21, will face Houdet in Sunday's final after ending the title defence of Dutch world No. 2 Maikel Scheffers. Olsson secured the crucial break in the first set and then won the last four games of the second set, serving out a superb performance to beat Scheffers 64 62.

MORE PHOTOS TO FOLLOW

NEC Singles Masters Official Website

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Norfolk edges Wagner to reach quad final

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