04 Jun 2009

Top seeds in to Roland Garros finals


NEWS ARTICLE

The world's top two players will contest Friday's men's singles and women's singles finals at Roland Garros, but both second seeded pairings are out of the doubles finals after Thrusday's second day play at second tournament of the year to have Grand Slam status.

Men's world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda (JPN) came back after his three set win on Wednesday to ease in to his third Roland Garros final following a 61 62 victory over Michael Jeremiasz (FRA). Kunieda plays Stephane Houdet in the final.

Kunieda reeled off the first four games with few problems against world No. 4 Jeremiasz, the last player to have beaten him in singles competition. Jeremiasz had his first two game points of the match in the fifth game and converted the second of them to retrieve one game, but that was only a temporary interruption to Kunieda's progress as the Japanese defending champion closed out the set on his first set point.

After four successive service holds at the start of the second set, Kunieda secured the first break of serve. Jeremiasz missed an opportunity to break straight back and found himself broken for a second time as Kunieda opened up a 5-2 lead before serving out on his second match point.

Houdet (FRA) earned his place in his first Roland Garros men's singles final with a 75 62 win over fellow Frenchman Nicolas Peifer.

Peifer gained the first break of the semifinal to go 4-2 ahead as he once again proved that he more than deserved his wild card. However, with Peifer serving for the first set, world No. 2 Houdet broke back as he put together four games in succession to snatch the advantage.

The early part of the second set followed a similar pattern, but this time it was Houdet who secured the first break in the fifth game. Houdet broke again to serve for the match and needed the second of two match points to wrap up victory.

World No. 2 Korie Homan (NED) was the first player to book a place in Friday's finals as she eased past her compatriot Sharon Walraven 60 62 in the first of Thursday's semifinals.

Walraven only had one game point opportunity in the first set as Homan dominated. After being taken to deuce in the second game of the match, Homan earned three set points on Walraven's serve and after seeing the first two disappear the second seed finally converted.

Homan raced in to a 4-0 second set lead after Walraven missed a game point opportunity in the third game of the set, but had her serve broken for the first time in the match as Walraven reduced the deficit to 4-1. Walraven also converted her first game point of the set on her own serve to get back to within two games of Homan, but the Beijing Paralympic silver medallist again dominated the final two games and clinched victory on her first match point.

Homan will play world No. 1 Esther Vergeer in the final for the second successive year after Vergeer beat Florence Gravellier (FRA) 62 62 in the other semifinal.

In a repeat of the 2007 final, Vergeer made the first breakthrough, holding serve in the sixth game of the first set to lead 4-2. The defending champion went on to complete a run of four successive games as she closed out the first set on her first set point.

After taking Vergeer to three sets in the 2007 final, Gravellier was unable to produce a repeat performance despite coming from a break down to level the second set at 2-2. However, as in the first set Vergeer put together another sequence of four games and although she was taken to deuce when serving for the match, the top seed eventually sealed her place in Friday's final on her first match point.

Doubles seconds seeds beaten

Thursday's second day of play ended with the remaining semifinals in the men's doubles and women's doubles, both matches producing entertaining tennis that ended with the second seeds being beaten in both events.

Dutchmen Robin Ammerlaan and Maikel Scheffers began their men's doubles semifinal seemingly on a mission to make up for their respective first round singles losses on Wednesday as they took a 5-1 first set lead against Kunieda and Stefan Olsson (SWE).

However, Kunieda and Olsson made the most remarkable comeback, forcing a tiebreak without Ammerlaan and Scheffers being able to earn a single set point. Once in the tiebreak, the second seeds maintained their momentum, winning the first three points before going 6-2 up and serving out on the first of four set points.

Ammerlaan and Scheffers again dominated the early stages of the second set and again earned a 5-1 lead. Although Kunieda and Olsson reduced the deficit to 5-2 they were unable to ignite the same kind of comeback that they had in the first set, allowing Ammerlaan and Scheffers to force a deciding championship tiebreak.

Kunieda and Olsson gained the first mini-break of the championship tiebreak to move 3-1 ahead, but their Dutch opponents fought back to lead the deciding game for the first time at 6-5. From that point on Kunieda and Olsson could never quite get back in front and when Ammerlaan and Scheffers eventually earned their first match point they converted it to seal an amazing 67(2) 62, 10-8 victory.

In Thursday's second women's doubles semifinal, Annick Sevenans (BEL) and Aniek Van Koot (NED) stunned second seeds Gravellier and Jiske Griffioen (NED) to take a 5-2 first set lead. Although Gravellier and Griffioen rallied to have a game point that would have brought them back on level terms, the younger pairing held their composure and gained the vital points to take the first set.

Both partnerships exchanged breaks at the start of the second set and continued to trade games as the set headed towards a tiebreak. Gravellier and Griffioen then took a 2-0 lead as they tried to level the match, but Sevenans and Van Koot would not be denied and went on to book their place in the final against Homan and Vergeer after wrapping up a 64 76(5) victory.

Friday's singles and doubles finals will all take place on Court 7 at Roland Garros, starting with the men's singles final between Shingo Kunieda and Stephane Houdet, which is scheduled to start at 11.00 local Paris time.

To access Friday's full order of play, please click here.

Men's Singles Draw

Women's Singles Draw

Men's Doubles Draw

Women's Doubles Draw



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