Photo: Reg CaldecottJordanne Whiley (GBR)
Three of the world’s top four players were knocked out of the women’s singles on an extraordinary second day of play on Wednesday at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in St. Louis.
With temperatures approaching 40 degrees at the Dwight Davis Tennis Centre, the on-court action was intense, too, with world No. 1 Sabine Ellerbrock bowing out and Jordanne Whiley and Kgothatso Montjane securing career first wins over world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen and world No. 4 Marjolein Buis respectively to dent the Dutch challenge.
World No. 5 Kamiji secured her fourth career win over German top seed Ellerbrock in five matches and her third this season at a Super Series event as the Japanese 19-year-old sealed a 62 46 62 win that sets her up for a semifinal against world No. 6 Montjane.
Montjane had won just two sets against Buis in ten previous matches, the first coming in St Louis in 2011 and the second coming at the Japan Open Super Series this year, but the South African fought back from 5-2 down in the opening set in their quarterfinal and went on to complete a narrow 75 76(5) victory.
Having not taken a set off Griffioen in any of their previous encounters, world No. 8 Whiley put up a fine performance against reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Griffioen, sealing a 62 64 victory that earns her a place in the last four against world No. 2 Aniek van Koot, the last remaining Dutch challenger in the women’s singles.
“I had a few new things I've been working on, on and off the court and today I put them into practice for the first time and it worked, so I couldn't be happier. It's the 14th time I've played her so it's about time I beat her,” said Whiley.
With three upsets in the women’s singles, van Koot narrowly avoided another after securing a hard-won 64 75 victory over world No. 8 Shuker, thereby ending hopes of an all-British semifinal.
Vink fends of Rodrigues as men’s seeds reach last eight
All eight seeds reached the men’s singles quarterfinals in straight sets, although world No. 8 Ronald Vink had to fend off a determined performance from Brazil’s Daniel Rodrigues before the Dutchman finally advanced 64 75.
Vink will play world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda for a place in the semifinals after Kunieda eased through his all-Japanese second round match against Satoshi Saida. World No. 3 Maikel Scheffers will play world No. 7 Michael Jeremiasz in the other quarterfinal in the top half of the men’s draw after both players secured 60 62 wins over Joel Dembe and Yoshinobu Fujimoto respectively.
With Dembe bowing out, Canadian fortunes came to an end when Argentinian fifth seed Gustavo Fernandez also defeated Philippe Bedard 62 61. Fernandez will play world No. 4 Joachim Gerard in the last eight after the Belgian’s 60 60 win over Nigeria’s Alex Adewale.
World No. 2 Stephane Houdet also opened his title defence with a 60 60 win as the Frenchman powered past Rafael Medeiros of Brazil. Houdet will play Britain’s world No. 6 Gordon Reid for a place in this year’s semifinals after Reid’s 63 61 win over Takuya Miki set up a rematch of his 2012 semifinal in St. Louis against Houdet.
Taylor battles back to reach quad singles semifinals
Three of the four quad singles quarterfinals resulted in 61 60 victories as all four seeded players moved into the semifinals, but arguably the day’s most notable comeback belonged to former US Open Super Series champion Nick Taylor.
The world No. 4 and London 2012 bronze medallist held on in a tense second set tiebreak against his fellow American Bryan Barten and won the points that ultimately mattered in the deciding set to edge out Barten 46 76(5) 64. Taylor will face world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne for a place in this year’s final after Lapthorne defeated USA’s David Buck.
World No. 1 David Wagner marked the 18th anniversary of the accident that resulted in him breaking his neck by defeating Japan’s Shota Kawano and Wagner will continue his title defence against world No. 3 Lucas Sithole of South Africa.
After beating Canada’s Adrian Dieleman, Sithole will now face Wagner for the fourth time this year at a Super Series event, Sithole having beaten Wagner at the SA Open in April and at last month’s British Open, where he became the first African player to win a Super Series singles title.