Top seeds first to reach semis at UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters
Wimbledon and US Open champions Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won the first three-set contest of the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters on Thursday to join top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in booking a place in the men’s semifinals in Bemmel, Netherlands.
The chance of any potential meeting between Hewett and Reid and Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson at last week’s Bath Indoor disappeared when Hewett and Reid withdrew from the tournament.
In the absence of the British duo Gerard and Olsson claimed their second successive title in Bath and they looked to be on course to extend their winning streak when moving a set and 3-0 ahead of the second seeds in their Pool B round-robin contest in Bemmel. However, a sequence of five games in a row helped Hewett and Reid force the deciding set
Gerard and Olsson fought back from a break down to level the decider before Hewett and Reid finally sealed their 26 64 64 victory after two hours and 25 minutes.
“I thought it was a very good win. We didn’t have the best of starts and weren’t quite as sharp as yesterday. But a set and 3-0 down we didn’t panic and we didn’t rush things. We played quite smart and broke up their rhythm,” said Reid.
“It’s been a great year for us playing together as a team. We didn’t start the year together so have definitely been improving month-by-month and are moving really well on the court together, so we’ll keep trying to raise the level heading into the weekend.”
In the day’s other Pool B contest Frederic Cattaneo and Evans Maripa dropped just the first game of the second set against Poland’s Kamil Fabisiak and multiple Doubles Masters champion Martin Legner of Austria. Their 60 61 victory means they will now play Gerard and Olsson on Friday to decide the other partnership that will progress to the last four from Pool B
In Pool A Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer’s rematch of their British Open final against Gustavo Fernandez and Makel Scheffers saw the French top seeds avoid a repeat of their first set loss to Fernandez and Scheffers in Nottingham.
They went on to claim four of the last five games of the second set to close out a 62 64 victory after an hour and 34 minutes.
“After 2-1 in the first set I just lost it and made too many mistakes and we can’t afford to do that. So they took the advantage, they’re very good,” said Fernandez. So we know for the next match we are going to have to stay focused and try to play our game. If we do that and we do things right we will have chances. Tomorrow is another day so we’ll try to play good tennis and that’s going to give us a chance to get to the semifinals.”
UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters debutants Daniel Caverzaschi and Martin de la Puente beat fellow debutants Carlos Anker and Ruben Spaargaren 60 63.
The Spanish duo won the first seven games before Anker and Spaargaren led for the first time at 2-1 in the second set. But Caverzachi and de la Puente took the last three games for their debut UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters win, which means they now play Fernandez and Scheffers for a place in Saturday’s semifinals.