Adelaide Open finalists Gordon Reid and Adam Kellerman will go head-to-head in Friday’s men’s singles quarterfinals at the Melbourne Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after a series of comfortable straight sets wins for the leading players on Thursday’s first day of the latest ITF 2 Series tournament.
No more than three games were dropped in any one set by the men’s quarterfinalists, with Adelaide Open champion and new world No. 8 Reid beating Sam-Ju Kim of Korea Republic 61 63 and second seed Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina defeating South Africa’s Eliphas Maripa by the same score in the bottom half of the draw.
Kellerman beat Italy’s Bruno Carlucci, while Fernandez will face Thomas Mossier of Austria in the last eight following Mossier’s 62 61 victory over young Australian Keegan Oh-Chee.
In the top half of the draw Ben Weekes and Stephan Rochecouste will join Kellerman in representing the host nation in the quarterfinals. Rochecouste, who turned 18 in December and has now left the junior ranks beat fellow Australian Richard Lee 61 60 to earn a match against world No. 6 Michael Jeremiasz of France. Jeremiasz recorded the only 60 60 win on the opening day as he eased past Australian Daniel O’Neill.
Weekes, who has a play-off against Kellerman on Monday to decide which of the two Australian will receive the wildcard for the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, also made a winning start to his time in Melbourne after beating Jerry Markoja 62 61.
On what was largely a difficult day for the younger Australian players, top seed and world No. 3 Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands eased past Henry de Cure 61 60 to book his quarterfinal against Weekes.
Park, Montjane ease into women’s quarterfinals
With just two matches needed to complete the line-up for the women’s singles quarterfinals, Korea Republic’s Ju-Yeon Park dominated her match against Australia’s Sarah Calati to win 60 60. Park takes on Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands for a place in the semifinals.
Also securing her place in the quarterfinals was world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa. Montjane beat Janel Manns of Australia 61 62 to set up an intriguing match against German second seed Sabin Ellerbrock.
Another of Friday’s quarterfinals that will see two top 10 ranked players go head-to-head sees Dutch second seed and Sydney International champion Jiske Griffioen take on Britain’s Lucy Shuker. World No. 2 Aniek van Koot, who was runner-up to Griffioen in Sydney, will play Luba Josevski of Australia for a place in the last four.
Friday’s second day of play will see the start of the four-way round-robin competition in the quad singles.