Buis and de Groot earn easy win on home soil
Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot provided the Dutch fans with a home win in Wednesday’s opening women’s matches at the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters in Bemmel, Netherlands.
Meanwhile, the first men’s singles round-robin matches saw the favoured partnerships drop a total of just five games across four matches at Sportcentrum Schaapskooi.
Rio Paralympic silver medalllists and top seeds Buis and de Groot wasted little time in earning their first women’s Pool A victory of the week against Italy’s Giulia Capocci and Katharina Kruger Germany, winning 62 61.
“We played well together, I think. Of course the first match you are trying to find tour rhythm but we handled it well,” said de Groot. “Tomorrow we are playing against the third seeds so it will be a tough match. It’s great to be playing at home (in the Netherlands); we can invite people to come and watch so it’s all very nice.”
Following their victory Buis and de Groot will now face Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Aniek van Koot in a match featuring three Dutchwomen. The contest will complete Buis and de Groot’s round-robin matches, with Ellebrock and van Koot going on to play Capocci and Kruger on Friday.
In Pool B of the women’s doubles Britain’s Louise Hunt and Michaela Spaanstra of Netherlands served for the opening set at 5-4 up in their first round-robin match against second seeds Dana Mathewson and Lucy Shuker. However they were unable to make the most of their opportunity and Mathewson and Shuker eventually held on to clinch a crucial win 75 63.
Mathewson and Shuker’s next opponents on Thursday are Charlotte Famin of France and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane as both doubles partnerships attempt to put themselves in contention for progressing to the semifinals.
Men’s doubles seeds in fine form
Three of Wednesday’s four men’s doubles matches ended in 60 61 scorelines, with reigning champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer needing just one game more than their fellow winners on the first day of competition in Bemmel.
After defeating Spain’s Dani Caverzaschi and Martin de la Puente 61 61 in Pool A, top seeds Houdet and Peifer continue their quest for back-to-back UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters titles when they face Gustavo Fernandez and Maikel Scheffers in Thursday’s opening match on Centre Court.
This contest will be a repeat of August’s British Open final, which Houdet and Peifer won after dropping the opening set to their Argentinian-Dutch opponents.
Fernandez and Scheffers go into the match on the back of their 60 61 victory over young Dutchmen and UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters debutants Carlos Anker and Ruben Spaargaren.
In Pool B second seeds Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid opened their bid to add the Doubles Masters title to this year’s Wimbledon and US Open crowns by defeating Frederic Cattaneo of France and South Africa’s Evans Maripa 60 61 after just 48 minutes.
The British duo next play last week’s Bath Indoor champions Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson, who opened their campaign in Bemmel with a 60 61 victory over Poland’s Kamil Fabisiak and Martin Legner of Austria.