Defending champion Gerard falls at British Open

Top four seeds in the men’s, women’s and quad singles all make the semi-finals in Nottingham 18 Jul 2014
Joachim Gerard

Belgium's Joachim Gerard won the men's singles title at the 2013 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

ⒸBritish Tennis

World No. 1 Yui Kamiji maintained the Japanese challenge and her own bid for a first British Open title after sweeping past South Africa’s world No. 8 Kgotahtso Montjane 6-1, 6-0.

Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, the defending champion at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham, is out after he was beaten in Thursday’s (17 July) quarter-finals by France’s world No.2 Stephane Houdet.

Houdet avenged his loss to Gerard in last year’s final with a 6-3, 6-3 win to set up a semi-final against world No.3 and home favourite Gordon Reid after he beat French eighth seed Nicolas Peifer 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.

“It was a tight first set and it could have gone either way, while in the second he looked like he was just trying to hit the ball as hard as he could on every single shot,” said Reid. “He was hitting winners all over the place and I maybe lost a bit of focus, but managed to get it back for the deciding set.”

The other semi-final will see Japan’s world No.1, Shingo Kunieda face Argentina’s world No.5 Gustavo Fernandez. Kunidea, a four-time winner of the British Open, was in irresistible form as he beat Marc McCarroll 6-0, 6-0, whilst Fernandez outplayed two-time former champion Maikel Scheffers for a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

In the women’s singles, home interest was ended by Dutch world No.2 and 2013 runner-up Aniek van Koot who beat fifth seed Jordanne Whiley 7-5 6-1. Van Koot will now meet Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock in the last four, after the world No.3 saw off Japan’s Kanako Domori 6-1, 6-0.

World No. 1 Yui Kamiji maintained the Japanese challenge and her own bid for a first British Open title after sweeping past South Africa’s world No. 8 6-1, 6-0.

In a rematch of last November’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters final, Kamiji will play Dutch world No. 4 and former British Open runner-up Jiske Griffioen for a place in the final. Griffioen proved much stronger than her compatriot Marjolein Buis to seal a 6-0, 6-3 quarter-final win.

In the quads singles, the all-British affair in the last eight saw world No.3 Andy Lapthorne overcome world No.5 Jamie Burdekin 6-4, 6-1 to set up a semi-final meeting with American top seed David Wagner.

“I’m delighted to be in another British Open semi-final and I love playing at home, so I’m really looking forward to taking on the world No.1 next,” said Lapthorne. “I had a few issues at 5-1 up in the first set against Jamie today, but once I started striking the ball well again I was happy and feel confident for the rest of the week.”

Wagner wasted little time in beating his countryman David Buck 6-0, 6-0, while in the bottom half of the draw South Africa’s defending champion Lucas Sithole secured a confident 6-2, 6-0 win over British sixth seed Antony Cotterill. World No.2 Sithole will meet Australia’s world No. 4 Dylan Alcott for a place in the final, with Alcott overcoming a determined performance from the USA’s Greg Hasterok to advance 6-4, 6-4.

Organised by the Tennis Foundation, the British Open is a crucial tournament for the world’s leading men’s, women’s and quad players aiming to gain enough ranking points to qualify for the 2014 NEC Masters, the year-end singles championship, which takes places at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in London, Great Britain, on 26–30 November.

Entry to the 25th British Open is free for all spectators. Play starts at 10.00am on Friday, 18 July.