20 Jan 2012

Sanada and Kellerman cause big upsets in Sydney

Match Report

Photo: Reg CaldecottTakashi Sanada (JPN)

There was plenty of drama during the first day of the Sydney International Wheelchair Tennis Open on Wednesday to usher in the first Super Series tournament of the 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with seeded players exiting in both the men's and women's singles.

Three world top 10 ranked players went out of the men's singles in the first round, as Takashi Sanada swept past world No. 5 Nicolas Peifer of France 62 63 and Michael Jeremiasz of France stretched his unbeaten sequence after a 62, 61 victory over Sweden's world No. 7 Stefan Olsson. 

But the stand out result of the first round gave the Australian fans plenty to cheer about after world No. 58 Adam Kellerman came back from the verge of defeat to edge past former world No. 1 and current world No. 6 Robin Ammerlaan of the Netherlands 46 76(6) 64.

Kellerman went on to lose 61 63 to Britain's Marc McCarroll in the second round as McCarroll secured a place in his first Super Series quarterfinal, where he will now face Sanada.

World No. 9 Frederic Cattaneo narrowly avoided becoming another top 10 player to exit in the first round when he edged past Britain's David Phillipson 76(7) 26 75 and Cattaneo then beat Brazil's Mauricio Pomme comfortably to set up a quarterfinal against 2011 runner-up Ronald Vink of the Netherlands. 

World No. 4 Vink has reached the last eight for the loss of just three games, just one game less than his compatriot and top seed Maikel Scheffers.  After his first round exit at the Melbourne Open, world No.1 Scheffers dropped just four games in his opening two matches to book his place in the last eight against Japanese world No. 8 Satoshi Saida..

Meanwhile, after Peifer's early exit a Frenchman is guaranteed to be in the semifinals, with world No. 3 Stephane Houdet defeating Britain's Gordon Reid 62 64 in his second match of the day to set up meeting with Jeremiasz, who remains undefeated after three tournaments so far this year. 

Whiley beats world top 10 opposition back-to-back

With two rounds of matches also completed in the women's singles, the first round saw Germany's Katharina Kruger prevail 46 63 63 against Chile's Francisca Mardones, but Kruger's progress was halted by Australian world No. 6 Daniela di Toro, who won her opening match 60 62 to set up an intriguing last eight contest against Dutch world No. 5 Marjolein Buis.

2011 Parapanam Games silver medallist Emmy Kaiser also survived a tough opener against Switzerland's Parmila Grangier 62 36 62. The American then came close to upsetting Japan's world No. 9 Yui Kamiji, but Kamiji gained the vital break in the deciding set to advance 63 46 75 and set up a quarterfinal against Dutch world No. 2 Aniek van Koot.

However, Britain's Jordanne Whiley produced the most notable women's singles results on the opening day of competition after beating two top 10 ranked players to reach the sixth Super Series quarterfinal of her career.

Whiley stunned world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa 62 61 before overcoming Germany's world No 6 Sabine Ellerbrock for the second time in a week.  With Ellerbrock battling against injury, Whiley won their second round contest 63 64 to book her place in the last eight against world No. 8 Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands. Walraven certainly didn't have an easy time of it against Japan's Kanako Domori, but progressed through her opening match 76(3) 61.

World No. 1 Esther Vergeer secured her fourth 60 60 victory in five matches so far this season as she won her opening match against Japan's Miho Nijo to set up a meeting with Belgian sixth seed and world No. 7 Annick Sevenans.  Chile's Maria Antonieta Ortiz had started her 30th birthday by defeating Japan's Yumiko Inoue 61 76(3), but was unable to progress any further as Sevenans won their second round match 62 61   

Moroishi to meet Lapthorne in quad singles quarterfinals

With top 10 ranked players exiting both the men's and women's singles there was still plenty of drama in the top half of the quad singles draw as the quarterfinal line-up was again decided.

Japan's Mitsuteu Moroishi found himself facing a possible first round exit against Malaysia's Azman Hasan, but held on to come through 46 75 62 to earn his place in the last eight against world No. 4 Andrew Lapthorne.  Lapthorne's first match of 2012 resulted in a 64 64 win over South African world No. 10 Lucas Sithole and the Briton now faces Moroishi for the second time on tour, having won their second round match at the 2011 Japan Open 64 64.

Shota Kawano was another Japanese player needing three sets to book his place in the quarterfinals, but he dominated his second and third sets against Canada's Adrian Dieleman to win 67(6)) 60 62

World No. 1 David Wagner faced a tough test in his opening match of 2012, coming from 5-4 down in the first set of his match against Briton Jamie Burdekin 75 62.

In the bottom half of the draw world No.2 Peter Norfolk eased through his first match of the season against Japan's Takahiro Koga 60 60 and will now face Italy's Marco Innocenti.  Innocenti has now met Amercian Greg Hasterok in all four Australian tournaments so far this season and their meeting in Sydney ended with Innocenti recording a 62 62 victory to leave the two players on two wins apiece in the four head-to-heads to date in 2012.

The other quad singles quarterfinal will see Israeli world No. 3 Noam Gershony and Britain's John Parfitt go head-to-head after both players eased through their first round matches.