31 May 2008

Peifer, Griffioen and Andersson scoop titles


NEWS ARTICLE

Nicolas Peifer (SWE) and Johan Andersson (SWE) both won the first ITF 1 Series titles of their careers on Saturday at the Sardinia Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, while Jiske Griffioen (NED) won the Women's title after a stirring comeback against compatriot and top seed Sharon Walraven.

In the Men's Main Draw Singles decider Peifer was not content with having reached his first ITF 1 Series final and the 17-year-old fourth seed stunned fellow Frenchman and world No 3 Stephane Houdet by streeaking to the first set 61.

Peifer narrowly missed wrapping up the contest in straight sets as top seed Houdet snatched the second set in a tiebreak, but the younger of the two French players held his composure in the final set to seal an amazing 61 67(8) 64 victory and his first win over Houdet in four meetings.

Griffioen dropped the first set of the Women's Main Draw Singles final 61 to world No 3 Walraven, but recovered well and won the points that mattered in the second and third sets to prevail 16 63 64, thereby clinching her first ITF 1 Series title since also beating Walraven in the final of the USTA National Indoor last September.

The Quad Singles final was not as dramatic by comparison, with top seed Andersson also winning his biggest NEC Tour title to date with a comfortable 62 62 win over second seed Antonio Raffaele.

All three singles champions also shared in success in their respective doubles finals later in the day.

After rain had interrupted the schedule earlier in the week, a busy day of doubles matches ended with Peifer and Martin Legner (AUT) justifying their top seeding for the Men's Main Draw Doubles when beating fourth seeds Piotr Jaroszewski (POL) and Fabian Mazzei (ITA) 64 60. Jaroszewski and Mazzi had earler accounted for Swedish second seeds Niclas Larsson and Stefan Olsson.

Meanwhile, fourth seeds Marianna Lauro (ITA) and Karin Suter-Erath (SUI) reached the Women's Doubles final after beating French second seeds Florence Gravellier and Arlette Racineux 60 64. Lauro and Suter-Erath again made a great start to the final, taking the first set off top seeds Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot (NED), but the Dutch pairing soon recovered to go on and secure a 57 63 60 victory.

There was also drama in the Quad Doubles final, with British second seeds Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill taking the first set off Swedish top seeds Andersson and Christer Jansson before having four match points in the second set. However, Andersson and Jansson held on to take the second set 7-5 in a tie-break to level the match, at which stage Cotterill was forced to retire due to the heat, handing victory to the Swedish pairing.

Sardinia Open Official Website and Drawsheets



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