Photo: Mathilde DusolNoam Gershony (ISR)
USA, Japan, Israel and Italy booked places in the semifinals of the quad event after the completion of the round-robin group ties on Wednesday’s third day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
Defending champion Israel moved into the last four undefeated at the top of Group B after a 2-1 win over Canada in a tie that lasted over nine hours.
Patrick Ben Uriel succumbed to Gary Luker 46 63 62 before Shraga Weinberg came through a close encounter with Sarah Hunter 63 67(6) 62 to leave it to the doubles to determine the outcome.
Paralympic quad singles gold medallist Noam Gershony and Weinberg, who also won bronze together in the quad doubles at London 2012, edged out Adrian Dieleman and Luker 64 76(5) in Antalya.
Early in the final set Dieleman, one of only two players who play in the quad event in a power chair, faced a race against time to replace the battery in his chair. But at the business end of the contest a forehand lob from Gershony on Israel’s second match point in the tiebreak sealed a 2-1 victory.
“It was a long day. Shraga had a long singles match, but I’m happy we won,” said Gershony. “I have three wins now and we’ve earned our day’s rest before the semifinals.”
Israel will now meet Japan, who ensured a place in the semifinal line up after beating fourth seed Sweden. Sweden had taken an early lead with Marcus Jonsson defeating Shota Kawano, but Mitsuteru Moroishi beat world No.6 Anders Hard 75 61 to level the tie. However, the Japanese caused the upset, overcoming Sweden 63 64 in the doubles.
USA secured its spot at the top of Group A with a convincing 2-1 win over Great Britain in a reverse of last year’s quad semifinal contest.
London 2012 medallists Nick Taylor and David Wagner dropped just three games between them in the singles rubbers after defeating Adam Field and Antony Cotterill respectively. Cotterill and Field subsequently battled to win the doubles for Great Britain in a match tiebreak.
USA now faces Italy after Italy managed to overcome South Africa 2-1 to take second place in the group.
Earlier in the tie Marco Innocenti had defeated Bongani Dlamini, while Lucas Sithole defeated Antonio Raffaele to keep South African hopes of reaching the semifinal alive. However, Innocenti and Guiseppe Polidori proved too strong for the South Africans to take the doubles 62 63 and second place in Group A.
Russia reaches the junior semifinals for the first time
Spain continued its unbeaten record in the junior event after beating Tanazania 3-0 and will now face Russia on Thursday for a place in Friday’s final.
Russia made it into the junior semifinals for the first time after a tight encounter with Iraq. The contest was level at 1-1 after two one-sided singles rubbers, with the Russian’s taking early control of the first set of the doubles to seize control. Iraq fought back and took the second set into a tiebreak that Hussein Hamed Hel and Zaahra Kadhim Jawad won comfortably.
Everything rested on the final match tiebreak, Iraq quickly mowing 5-1 ahead to look to be on course for the semifinals. But Russia then regained its form of the first set and eventually won 63 67(2) (10-6). Netherlands secured its place at the top of Group B, defeating South Africa 3-0.
Top seed Great Britain will meet Netherlands in the semifinal after beating USA 2-1. American Krystal Kelley defeated former world No. 1 junior girls’ player Lauren Jones. Kelley had match points at 5-2 up in the third set, but Jones saved them and fought to bring the match back to 5-4. However, she was unable to hold her nerve and served three double faults in the final game to give Kelly a 36 64 64 victory.
World No. 1 junior boys’ player Alfie Hewett kept British hopes alive, winning his rubber against Chris Herman 61 61. In the doubles Hewett and Jones managed to put Tuesday’s second day loss to Spain behind them, defeating USA 63 63.
“I am very pleased. It’s been a tough couple of days for me, we had a long match against Spain,” said Hewett. “We both recovered well and did what we needed to do”. The semifinal between Netherlands and Great Britain will take place on centre court on Thursday.