The large crowds who flocked to the Olympic Tennis Centre for the second day of wheelchair tennis action on Saturday (September 10) were not disappointed as the players produced a string of high-quality matches.
On the first day of competition in the women’s singles, all the top seeds dominated, whilst the top four in the quad singles division booked their place in the semi-finals.
In the women’s singles, Jordanne Whiley, Jiske Griffioen and Yui Kamiji all entertained on Centre Court with the Japanese star and current world number 2 claiming a 6-0, 6-0 win over Brazil’s Rejane Candida in just 32 minutes.
Court two was full of Dutch delight as the three women from the Netherlands all progressed to the second round. Aniek van Koot beat Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit, whilst Paralympic debutant Diede de Groot won her first match at the Games 6-1, 6-3.
Marjolein Buis capped the day off for the Dutch, but was forced to work for her win in a 7-6(6), 6-1, battle over Columbian Angelica Bernal.
Meanwhile on court six Africa’s only women’s wheelchair tennis player at these Games Kgothatso Montjane beat Miho Nijo in straight sets before the seventh seed Katharina Kruger of Germany won 6-1, 6-1, against Spain’s Lola Ochoa.
Once again, the quad division did not disappoint in quality as semi-final places were up for grabs.
All top four seeds overcame their opponents to claim semi-final places but it was not easy going for third-seed Lucas Sithole.
The South African was first on Centre Court against home favourite Ymanitu Silva and was pushed for the first set, winning it 7-5 before taking the second set 6-3 in a close contest lasting nearly 90 minutes.
Australian Dylan Alcott defeated experienced American Nick Taylor 6-2, 6-0, whilst fellow USA multi-medallist David Wagner claimed victory of Mitsuteru Moroishi 6-2, 6-2.
Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne booked his semi-final spot by beating Heath Davidson 6-1, 6-2, in front of a cheering GB crowd and will play Wagner next.
“Whenever you are in a situation where the pressure is on it is nice to have people there who you know have got your back,” said Lapthorne after the win.
He said of the crowd: “They pick me up when I’m not playing so well. It’s just an advantage to have that many people here.
“It’s going to be an amazing occasion (against David Wagner) and I’m looking to get the win and put myself in a position where the medals are won and then go for the gold medal.”