02 Feb 2008

Vergeer retains Sydney International title


NEWS ARTICLE

World No 1 Esther Vergeer (NED) successfully completed her Women's Main Draw Singles title defence on Saturday at the Sydney International at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush. Meanwhile Shingo Kunieda (JPN), Robin Ammerlaan (NED), David Wagner (USA) and Peter Norfolk (GBR) reached Sunday's Men's Main Draw and Quad Main Draw Singles finals at the first ITF 1 Series event of the 2008 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

However, heavy rain that began just over an hour in to Sunday's play caused the remaining finals to be abandoned, with all the finalists having the allotted world rankings points and prize money for their respective finals split between them.

In the Women's Main Draw Singles final top seed Vergeer fought off a determined second set effort from world No 5 and fourth seed Florence Gravellier (FRA) to complete a 60 64 victory.

In the Men's Main Draw Singles world No 3 Stephane Houdet (FRA) took on Ammerlaan in the semifinals, the Frenchman having beaten world No 5 Maikel Scheffers on Friday. Houdet made a great start against defending champion and world No 2 Ammerlaan, edging the first set, but in the second seed Ammerlaan fought back to secure a 46 62 64 victory that set up a scheduled rematch of last year's final against Kunieda.

Kunieda came to Sydney last year having just succeeded Ammerlaan as world No 1, a position he has firmly reinforced. The top seed will now bid to succeed Ammerlaan as Sydney International Open champion after his comfortable 61 63 victory over world No 4 Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) in Saturday's semifinals.

For the second successive week the world's top two ranked Quad Singles players were due to meet in a major final after David Wagner (USA) and Peter Norfolk (GBR) both eased through their Quad Main Draw Singles semifinals. Wagner beat world No 3 and doubles partner Nick Taylor (USA) 63 61 in his semifinal while Norfolk came back from a difficult quarterfinal on Friday to beat world No 4 Sarah Hunter (GBR) 61 61 in his semifinal.

Wagner and Norfolk's first scheduled meeting of the week in Saturday's Quad Doubles semifinals saw Wagner and compatriot Taylor lose a Quad Doubles match for only the second time since January 2004.

Norfolk and fellow Briton Jamie Burdekin were the partnership responsible for upsetting the top seeds as they produced a polished performance to earn a 64 62 victory.

Norfolk and Burdekin were due to play second seeds Hunter and Brent Poppen (USA) in the final after Hunter and Poppen edged through their semifinal against Johan Andersson (SWE) and Dorrie Timmermans-Van Hall 16 75 75.

Before the abandomnment of Sunday's play top seeds Kunieda and Satoshi Saida (JPN) were also due to play second seeds Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink (NED) in the Men's Main Draw Doubles final, while Jiske Griffioen and Esther Vergeer were scheduled to take on Korie Homan and Sharon Walraven in the Women's Main Draw Doubles final.



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