Photo: Tommy HindleyAnders Hard (SWE)
Japan’s Satoshi Saida made up for his first round exit in 2011 when he won the men’s singles title at the Busan Open, which brought a succession of high level NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour events in Korea Republic to an end at the weekend, with Ju-Yeon Park claiming the women’s singles title on home soil and Anders Hard of Sweden winning his second quad singles title in as many weeks.
Top seed Saida eased past Sydwell Mathonsi 61 63 in his semifinal. Mathonsi maintained South African hopes as far as the last four after defeating Korean Sam-Ju Kim, who had edged out South African fourth seed Eliphas Maripa 75 64 in the first round.
While the top three seeds reached the men’s semifinals, Australian second seed Ben Weekes proved much the stronger against third seed David Dalmasso of France to match Saida in progressing to the final after a 61 61 victory. However, having seen his Korea Open and Daegu Open title defences end in the semifinals in the two previous weeks, Saida ensured that he made amends for his early exit in Busan in 2011 when he beat Weekes 62 75 to seal his second title of 2012.
All four seeds reached the women’s semifinals with few problems, but neither of the two top ranked players were able to make the final after third seed Kanako Domori of Japan won a compelling match against German top seed Katharina Kruger 63 36 62, while Park secured a comprehensive 62 61 victory over Japanese second seed Yuka Okabe 62 61.
Fourth seed Park subsequently emerged victorious after more than three hours of the women’s singles final, giving the home fans plenty to celebrate after her 63 16 63 victory, which also gave her second title of the year so far.
Hard clinched his second quad singles title in as many weeks in Korea Republic.
The host nation’s Ho-Sang Wang defeated second seed Stephane Erismann of France 62 63 to reach the quad singles final, but he posed few problems for Hard, who won the title decider 61 61 to complete the tournament having dropped just five games.
The was another Korean winner in the men’s doubles as Sang-Ho Oh teamed up with Saida to win the important points in the final and beat French top seeds Dalmasso and Lahcen Majdi 75 76(4).
Hard left Korea with another brace of titles after being the only non-Korean player in the quad doubles final and partnering Young-Mok Yu to beat top seeds Myoungsic Nam and Wang 46 62 (10-6) after a deciding match tiebreak.
The women’s doubles final was interrupted by rain and despite attempts to resume play the weather produced one last intervention, leaving unfinished, with top seeds Domori and Okabe and second seeds Kruger and Miho Nijo of Japan splitting the available ranking points and prize money.