Photo: Japan OPenDavid Wagner (USA)
David Wagner of USA won his sixth successive quad singles title at the Japan Open, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, today in Iizuka, Fukuoka, while Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany reached their first men’s and women’s Super Series finals respectively on the penultimate day of the third Super Series tournament of 2012.
World No. 1 Wagner retained his quad title in a completely dominant performance against his fellow American and doubles partner Nick Taylor, beating the fourth seed and world No. 5 6-0, 6-0.
Later in the day Taylor and Wagner went into the quad doubles final as top seeds, but an upset was in store as Beijing Paralympic bronze medallists and second seeds Jamie Burdekin and Peter Norfolk clinched their first Super Series doubles title together 61 61.
Fernandez into first Super Series final; Houdet ends Kunieda’s Japan Open reign
Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez reached the first Super Series final of his career as the 18-year-old world No.1 ranked junior moved ever closer to a world top 10 senior ranking after defeating world No. 4 Ronald Vink of the Netherlands in his men's singles semifinal.
Fernandez, who started the tournament world ranked No. 15 and without a seeding, beat his second world ranked top four opponent in three days as he capitalised on a string of unforced errors from fourth seed Vink to earn a 62 75 victory,
In his second match of this week Fernandez beat Dutch world No. 1 Maikel Scheffers in three sets and he will come up against the world No. 2 in the final after Frenchman Stephane Houdet ended world No. 3 Shingo Kunieda’s six year reign as Japan Open champion.
With four-time ITF World champion Kunieda playing his first tournament since September after coming back from an elbow injury, Houdet gained some compensation for his losses to Kunieda in the 2009 and 2010 Japan Open final as he secured a 62 64 victory to reach his third singles final in Iizuka in four years.
After the disappointment of his loss to Fernandez earlier in the week, Scheffers partnered his fellow Dutchman Tom Egberink to win the men’s doubles title. The fourth seeds held on to beat French third seeds Frederic Cattaneo and Houdet 64 46 (10-3) after a deciding match tiebreak.
Ellerbrock into first Super Series final as Buis beats defending champion Griffioen
Germany’s world No. 5 Sabine Ellerbrock fought her way into her first women’s singles Super Series final after a stirring comeback to beat South African world No. 10 Kgothatso Montjane in three sets in their semifinal.
Less than three weeks after having to retire from the third set of the Gauteng Open final against Montjane due to injury, fourth seed Ellerbrock recovered after a fine start by the South African eighth seed as the two players went to a deciding set for the third time in their three career meetings to date. But, in their first match outside of South Africa, Ellerbrock prevailed on this occasion to win 16 62 63 and edge 2-1 ahead in the head-to-head.
The other women’s semifinal was a rematch of the 2011 final as world No. 3 and defending champion Jiske Griffioen took on world No. 4 Marjolein Buis in the first match of 2012 between the two Dutchwomen.
Just like their 2011 final in Iizuka, their latest contest also went to three sets, but Buis also fought back after winning just one game in the opening set to earn a 16 63 64 victory.
A good day for Buis also ended with victory in the all-Dutch women’s doubles final. Top seeds Buis and Sharon Walraven won a thrilling contest against second seeds Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 36 75 (10-7) after a deciding match tiebreak.
Japan Open - Latest Draws
Order of Play: Saturday, 19 May
Japan Open - LIVE WEBCAST: Saturday, 19 May
The men's and women's singles finals at the Japan Open will be streamed live on Saturday, 19 May. The women's singles final is scheduled for 10.00 local time. The men's singles final is scheduled for 13.00 local time.
To access the live stream click here.