Photo: Mathilde DusolAntonio Raffaele (ITA) and Shraga Weinberg (ISR)
Three-time Paralympic gold medallists and top seeds Nick Taylor and David Wagner of USA will bid for their sixth Invacare Doubles Masters title on Saturday when they face second seeds Antonio Raffaele of Italy and Shraga Weinberg, the partnership that beat them on Thursday’s second day of round robin matches in Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, Fredric Cattaneo of France and Joachim Gerard of Belgium upset Dutch fourth seeds Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers to reach the men’s doubles semifinals, in which they will face fourth seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Shingo Kunieda of Japan.
The other men’s semifinal will be between top seeds Michael Jeremiasz of France and Stefan Olsson of Sweden and second seeds Gordon Reid of Great Britain and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands, with Katharina Kruger of Germany and Jordanne Whiley of Great Britain securing the last available place in the women’s semifinals during Friday’s last day of round-robin pool matches.
Taylor and Wagner face rematch against Raffaele and Weinberg
Taylor and Wagner went into their third and last pool match needing to win in straights sets if they were to bounce back from Thursday’s straight sets loss to Raffaele and Weinberg and reach the final.
They achieved their objective comfortably, dropping just the first game of their match against Italian duo Marco Innocenti to eased to a 61 60 victory.
On the back of beating Taylor and Wagner a day earlier, Raffaele and Weinberg went into the last day of pool matches unbeaten, which proved to be crucial as they then lost out Sweden’s Anders Hard and Marcus Jonsson 62 63. However, Raffaele and Weinberg’s overall percentage of games won to games lost over three days proved to be better than Hard and Jonsson’s and they therefore advanced to the final.
Raffaele will now play in the quad doubles final for the second year in succession after finishing runner-up in 2011 partnering Dutch player Dorrie Timmermans.
Cattaneo and Gerard upset Egberink and Scheffers
Only one of last year’s winning men’s doubles partnership will play a part in this year’s semifinals after Cattaneo and Gerard put up a fine performance to beat fourth seeds Egberink and Scheffers 63 63
Cattaneo and Gerard made a great start to the match, winning the first four game before Egberink and Scheffers fought back, but Cattaneo and Gerard claimed the last two games of the opening set and four of the last five games of the second set to prevail.
While Cattaneo and Gerard finished runners-up in Pool 2, Houdet and Kunieda, the world’s top two ranked men’s singles players, topped pool 1 after maintained their unbeaten record with a 64 61 victory over Martin Legner of Austria and Nicolas Peifer of France.
Despite going to deuce against Legner and Peifer in three of the first five games, Houdet and Kunieda built a 4-1 lead en route to securing the opening set and dropped just the five game i the second set.
Second seeds Reid and Vink finished top of Pool 2 after wrapping up a comfortable 63 61 victory over Great Britain’s Marc McCarroll and Tadeusz Kruszelnicki of Poland. A sequence of four games midway through the opening set gave Reid and Vink a comfortable advantage and McCarroll and Kruszelnicki won just the second game of the second set.
After their earlier loss to Houdet and Kunieda, top seeds Jeremiasz and Olsson ensured their place in the last four after defeating all-French duo David Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi 62 62, earning a 4-1 lead in the first set and a 5-1 lead in the second before sealing their victory in exactly an hour.
Kruger and Whiley edge out fourth seeds to reach women’s semis
There was a fascinating conclusion to both of the remaining women’s round-robin pool matches as Kruger and Whiley beat fourth seeds Kgothatso Montjane and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands 76(5) 75 in Pool 1 and third seed seeds Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Yui Kamiji of Japan defeated Annick Sevenans of Belgium and Lucy Shuker of Great Britain in three sets in Pool 1.
Kruger and Whiley came from 3-1 down against Montjane and Walraven to briefly lead the opening set of their match 5-4 before it was settled in a tiebreak that saw an exchange of mini breaks right through to 5-5. However, Kruger and Whiley dug deep and secured the set on their first and only set point.
A third set looked like it might be needed as Montjane and Walraven took a 4-1 second set lead, but Kruger and Whiley claimed six of the last seven games to seal victory.
In Pool 2 Ellerbrock and Kamiji raced into a 5-0 lead en route to taking their opening set against Sevenans and Shuker, but after taking the first three games in the second set Sevenans and Shuker maintained their lead and won the last two games to force a deciding set. But as in the first set Ellerbrock and Kamiji made a confident start, building up 5-1 lead and finally closing out a 62 36 63 victory.
As runners-up in Pool 1 to Dutch top seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, Kruger and Whiley will play Ellerbrock and Kamiji in the last four, with Griffioen and van Koot facing Sevenans and Shuker.