10 Sep 2010

Peifer and di Toro into New York finals


NEWS ARTICLE

Nicolas Peifer and Daniela di Toro will join world No. 1 ranked Shingo Kunieda and Esther Vergeer in Sunday's men's singles and women's singles finals at the US Open in New York after both beating the second seeds in their respective semifinals on Friday.

Meanwhile, defending champion Peter Norfolk and David Wagner will meet in their third quad singles final at Flushing Meadows after reaching Sunday's decider even before going head-to-head in their last round-robin match on Saturday.

Peifer to meet Kunieda

After his stunning victory over former two-time US Open champion Robin Ammerlaan on Thursday, world No. 7 Peifer reached his first Grand Slam final after a fine comeback against another Dutch opponent, world No. 2 Maikel Scheffers.

Scheffers took a 4-1 lead in the opening set against the 19-year-old Frenchman, but Peifer clinched six of the next seven games to seize the advantage.

Scheffers again went a break up in the second set, but once more Peifer would not be denied and rallied to secure by far the most important of his three victories over Scheffers this season 75 76(3) after an hour and 24 minutes.

The other semifinal proved to be far more straightforward for Kunieda, who continued his title defence by opening up a 4-0 lead over current world No. 6 Stephane Houdet. Houdet made some ground on the top seed, but Kunieda wrapped up the set 6-2 and dropped just the fourth game of the second set as he put the seal on a comprehensive 62 61 victory in just 48 minutes.

Di Toro overturns Walraven

World No. 4 di Toro reached her first women's singles final at a Grand Slam, outside of her native Australia, when she beat current world No. 2 Sharon Walraven for the third time in four matches this season.

Di Toro raced into a 5-1 first set lead and although Walraven managed to retrieve one of the breaks against her di Toro claimed the set 6-4. Walraven subsequently won just the third game in the first six games played in the second set and although she increased her tally as di Toro served for the match, soon the Australian earned her one and only match point, which she converted after an hour and seven minutes to prevail 64 62.

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Vergeer enjoyed a much more comfortable day after being pushed close by Frenchwoman Florence Alix-Gravellier in Thursday's quarter-finals.

The wind that had been such a feature in New York earlier in the week played less of a part on Friday and Vergeer was able to dominate her compatriot and world No. 6 Jiske Griffioen, dropping just one game and needing just 44 minutes to wrap up a 61 60 victory on the first of her three match points.

Norfolk and Wagner set to meet again

Norfolk kept his bid for a third US Open title on track in convincing fashion as he won the second of his three quad singles round-robin matches against American world No. 4 Nick Taylor 61 60.

Taylor missed an opportunity to take the second game of his match against world No. 1 Norfolk and then won just the fourth game as Norfolk eased through in 52 minutes, extending his unbeaten run of matches at Flushing Meadows to nine.

Wagner and Norfolk are guaranteed to occupy the top two places after the round-robin phase of the competition after the American won his match on Friday against Sweden's world No. 3 Johan Andersson 61 64. Wagner dropped just the sixth game of the opening set and opened up a 5-2 lead in the second set before holding on for victory and a place in his third US Open final.

Norfolk and Wagner will now meet in their last round-robin match on Saturday, when one of them will lose their unbeaten record for the week as a precursor to Sunday's final.

Alix-Gravellier bows out in double semifinals

Florence Alix-Gravellier saw her international career come to an end on Friday when she and Griffioen bowed out of the women's doubles in the semifinals.

Just as in her opening singles match on Thursday, Vergeer was once again on the opposite side of the net, but once more Alix-Gravellier did not bow out without a determined effort.

Alix-Gravellier and Griffioen came from 2-4 down in the opening set against second seeds Vergeer and Walraven and had chances to move 5-4 ahead before losing the last two games of the opening set. They then came from behind to lead Vergeer and Walraven 4-3 in the second set before played was delayed for repairs to Walraven's tennis chair.

After reaching the doubles final last year in New York with di Toro, Alix-Gravellier had hoped to do the same with close friend Griffioen, but when play resumed the all-Dutch pairing of Vergeer and Walraven clinched the last three games to seal a 64 64 victory and end Alix-Gravellier and Griffioen's bid to reach a first Grand Slam final as a partnership.

Vergeer and Walraven will face top seeds di Toro and Aniek van Koot in a final that will feature three Dutchwomen. Di Toro and van Koot eased to the first set against the inexperienced pairing of Belgium's Annick Sevenans and Mackenzie Soldan of the USA and opened up commanding 4-1 lead in the second set. Sevenans and Soldan dug deep to regain one break of serve, but ultimately di Toro and van Koot went on to take the last two games to round off a 62 63 victory.

Neither seeded partnership will feature in the men's doubles final.

Top seeds Ammerlaan and Kunieda were forced to withdraw from their scheduled semifinal as Kunieda seeks to protect his body before his singles final against Peifer. Their withdrawal gives American Jon Rydberg an unexpected place in his first Grand Slam final as he and Peifer now prepare to take on the all-Dutch pairing of Scheffers and Ronald Vink.

Scheffers and Vink went a break down at the start of their semifinal against second seeds Houdet and Stefan Olsson of Sweden, but a sequence of 11 games in succession saw them take the first set and a commanding 5-0 lead in the second set. Houdet and Olssson had brief success as they clinched the sixth game of the second set, but their efforts were to no avail and Scheffer and Vink finalised a 62 61 victory.

All three doubles finals are scheduled to take place during Saturday's penultimate day of play in New York, alongside the final set of round-robin matches in the quad singles.

Saturday's wheelchair tennis matches are scheduled to take place on courts 7, 11 and 13, with the quad singles matched beginning at 11.00 local New York time on courts 7 and 11.

To view the full US Open schedule for Saturday, 11 September, please click here.

US Open Official Website

Men's Singles Draw

Women's Singles Draw

Quad Singles Draw

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