Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana claimed her first career win over Germany’s world No. 8 and top seed Katharina Kruger to send her out of the women’s singles on Wednesday (5 October), the second day of the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, in St. Louis.
The quest for qualification places for the year-end NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters add extra spice to the sixth and last Super Series event of the year. Friday’s (7 October) semifinalists were decided in the men’s, women’s and quad singles, with all four seeds reaching that stage in the men’s and quad singles.
Kruger’s hopes of staying in the world’s top eight ahead of next week’s cut-off for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters received a blow when Cabrillana sealed her first win in six attempts against her German opponent 6-3, 6-1.
World No. 25 Cabrillana now faces the USA’s fourth seed Emmy Kaiser, who came through a tough opening match to defeat fellow US player Elizabeth Williams 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
In the bottom half of the women’s draw, Great Britain’s third seed Lucy Shuker will play South Africa’s second seed Kgothatso Montjane for a place in the final in St. Louis in a rematch of last week’s PTR Championships singles final.
Shuker beat Montjane on that occasion and the two will meet again after Shuker held off the USA’s Dana Mathewson 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Montjane raced to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Great Britain’s Laura Coteman.
Fernandez ends Hewett’s men’s singles challenge
Great Britain’s Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist Alfie Hewett endured his first loss since the Rio final when Argentina’s world No. 5 Gustavo Fernandez won the men’s singles quarterfinal 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Last year’s runner-up Fernandez goes on to play Japan’s third seed and six-time US Open USTA Championships winner Shingo Kunieda for a place in the final; Kunieda defeated South Africa’s Evans Maripa, last week’s PTR Championships runner-up to Hewett, 6-4, 6-2.
Hewett, Kunieda and Dutch world No. 7 Maikel Scheffers all started the week aiming for a top eight qualification place for the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, which will be held 30 November to 4 December at London, Great Britain.
Scheffers joins Kunieda in remaining in contention for the title in St. Louis after beating Australia’s Ben Weekes 6-4, 6-3. Scheffers meets France’s top seed Stephane Houdet next, following the defending champion’s 6-0, 6-0 win over Japan’s Kouhei Suzuki.
Wagner heads quad singles semifinalists
All four top seeds are into the quad singles semifinals after South Korea’s Kyu-Seung Kim reached the last four of a Super Series singles event for the first time.
Fourth seed Kim’s 6-1, 6-1 win over Guatemala’s Julio Rueda means he plays the USA’s top seed David Wagner for a place in the final. World No. 2 Wagner kept himself firmly on course in his bid for a seventh US Open USTA Championships title after defeating fellow US player David Jordan 6-0, 6-2.
There were also straight sets wins for South Africa’s second seed Lucas Sithole and British third seed Andy Lapthorne, who now meet to decide the other spot in the final after both denting the USA challenge.
The US Open Championships runs until Sunday (9 October). Complete results can be found on the ITF’s website.