Wagner and Sithole to contest quad final at British Open
Top two seeds David Wagner and Lucas Sithole will contest Saturday’s quad singles final at the 24th British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships, while British No. 1 Gordon Reid also progressed to the men’s singles semi-finals on Thursday’s third day of play at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
World No. 3 and second seed Sithole came from 3-0 down in the opening set of his quad singles semi-final against Britain’s 2012 runner-up Jamie Burdekin to prevail 6-4, 6-4, setting up his third Super Series singles final of the year and his second against American world No. 1 Wagner, who Sithole beat in Johannesburg in April to reach his first Super Series final at the South African Open.
“Jamie was playing well in those first three games and after that I told myself just to concentrate on each point, so it feels good to be in the final,” said Sithole.
Wagner went out in the semi-finals in 2012 to Burdekin, but the two-time British Open champion ensured his place in another final after beating Canadian third seed Sarah Hunter 6-2, 6-1.
“Sarah’s a good player, so I always have to be ready for her, and be ready to play my best,” said Wagner. “Today I played well enough to get through and I look forward to being in the final this weekend. I’m going to give it everything I have, because I really want this title to take home with me.”
Third seed Reid secured a 7-5, 6-3 win over French eighth seed Frederic Cattaneo in the men’s singles quarter-finals, the world No. 4 and 2012 finalist progressing to a semi-final against top seed Stephane Houdet of France.
“The whole match was difficult. Fred played very well, but I served well and played the big points well,” added Reid. “There were some long rallies and it was hard, so I’m glad to get that one out the way to move on to the semi-finals. I’ve beaten Stephane twice this year, so I’m looking forward to our semi-final.”
While world No. 2 Houdet secured a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Dutch sixth seed Ronald Vink, the two quarter-finals in the bottom half of the men’s singles draw went against the seeding as Belgian fifth seed Joachim Gerard beat fourth seed Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, with Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz defeating Dutch world No. 3 and two-time British Open champion Maikel Scheffers 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.
British women’s No. 1 Lucy Shuker held 3-0 and 5-4 second set leads in her women’s singles quarter-final against Germany’s world No. 1 Sabine Ellerbrock, but Ellerbrock held on in a tight conclusion to seal a 6-1, 7-5 victory that sets her up for a semi-final against fourth seed Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands. Buis had a tough opening set against Chilean eighth seed Francisca Mardones, with a succession of close games, but Buis’s consistency finally told as she prevailed 6-4, 6-0.
The other women’s singles semi-final will be an all-Dutch contest between world No. 2 Aniek van Koot and world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen. Van Koot ended the challenge of British No. 2 and seventh seed Jordanne Whiley 6-2, 6-2, with Griffioen holding off fifth seed Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa also 6-2, 6-2.
With the men’s and women’s doubles semi-final line-ups also decided, third seeds Marc McCarroll and Reid secured a 6-0, 6-0 win over fellow Brit Steve Crompton and Dutchman Pim Palmen to secure their place in the last four against top seeds Houdet and Vink.
Meanwhile, there will be three Brits in the women’s doubles semi-finals. Second seeds Shuker and Whiley dropped just two games in their quarter-final and will now meet third seeds Buis and Montjane. Louise Hunt partners Ellerbrock this week and the fourth seeds will play Dutch top seeds and defending champions Griffioen and van Koot for a place in the final.
The third day of play in Nottingham ended with the mixed doubles quarter-finals, with two all-British pairings into the semi-finals. McCarroll and Whiley will face South African top seeds Sithole and Montjane in their semi. Meanwhile, David Phillipson and Louise Hunt edged fellow Brits Alfie Hewett and Shuker 5-7, 6-4 (10-3) after a match tie-break in an entertaining quarter-final to set up a semi-final against Japanese second seeds Satoshi Saida and Miho Nijo.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships is one of six events to have Super Series status, the highest tier of tournament on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour outside of the Grand Slams.