Ronald Vink (NED) and David Wagner (USA) retained their men’s singles and quad singles titles on Sunday at the Belgian Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour. Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) went one better than in 2011 to win the women’s singles title after a fascinating last two days of play came to an end in Namur.
All six main draw singles semifinals produced exciting contests, with world No. 4 Vink having to come from a set down to defeat third seed Nicolas Peifer of France. The Dutch top seed eventually completed a 46 64 63 victory to set up a final against Japan Open champion and world No. 6 Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina, who split two close sets with home favourite Joachim Gerard before winning their semifinal 76(6) 57 62.
The final produced another hotly contested match, but it was Vink who won the big points to complete his title defence 64 76(1).
Vink ended the tournament with two titles after he and his countryman Robin Ammerlaan justified their top seeding to beat French second seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Peifer 75 63 after both partnerships after come through their semifinals in deciding match tiebreaks.
Wagner wins thriller to retain quad singles title
World No. 1 Wagner faced by far his toughest match against Sweden’s world No. 8 Anders Hard in their seven head-to-heads to date on the NEC Tour before the American retained the quad singles title.
Third seed Hard recovered from an indifferent start to his semifinal against second seed Lucas Sithole of South Africa, dropping just one of the last 13 games to complete a remarkable 16 60 61 victory. Meanwhile Wagner came up against a determined performance from his compatriot Bryan Barten before booking his place in the final 63 63.
Wagner and Hard produced a tremendous final as Hard took the top seed to a third set for the first time. However, it was Wagner who ultimately just had the edge as he snatched a final set tiebreak to complete a 63 46 76(5) win.
However, the quad doubles final came to a much more clear cut conclusion as Barten and Wagner justified top seeding to ease to a 60 62 victory.
Ellerbrock claims women’s title
World No. 4 Ellerbrock of Germany held off a determined effort from former world No. 1 Daniela di Toro of Australia to win their women’s singles semifinal 61 57 64, having had match points to wrap it up in straight sets. Meanwhile, Dutch second seed Marjolein Buis also faced a strong challenge from home favourite and world No. 6 Annick Sevenans before also reaching the final 63 76(4).
The final was not only important in terms of the player’s title aspirations, but also in regards to the contest for the fourth seeded position for the London 2012 Paralympics, with just 19 points separating Ellerbrock and Buis in the world rankings. However, after a tight first set Ellerbrock went on to justify her seeding for the latest ITF 1 Series tournament as she wrapped up a 75 62 victory.
The women’s doubles was also won in straight sets by the top seeds as Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker and Sevenans, the two players that Buis had beaten in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the singles, combined successfully to beat second seeds Elena Jacinto of Spain and Katharina Kruger of Germany 61 62.
Belgian Open Draws