Semifinals: Win or Bust

by Ryan M. Bright

Gustavo Fernandez b
Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Men’s Singles – Semifinals. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

FLUSHING, N.Y. – Dreams of winning have continued through the second day of wheelchair tennis competition at the US Open semi-finals. Yui Kamiji (JPN; 1) went up against Jiske Griffioen (NED) in a long game with Griffioen swinging hard on her serves and taking the first set 6-3. She knew what she wanted to do, and she was out to take the world. She laid down three aces to Kamiji’s zero, but Kamiji stayed strong to win the last two sets and the match 6-2; 6-3. The win in this match sends Yui Kamiji into the Women’s Singles Finals.

Aniek Van Koot b
Aniek Van Koot (NED) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Women’s Singles – Semifinals. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

The other Women’s Singles Semifinal had Marjolein Buis (NED) going up against Aniek Van Koot (NED; 2). Van Koot won this match 6-1; 6-3. The Men’s Singles Semifinal had Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) and Stephane Houdet (FRA; 2) dueling for a win. Fernandez served his way to winning the match with a score of 7(7)-6(1); 6-1. This upset knocked off No. 2 from the finals, granting Gustavo Fernandez the chance to win the trophy.

The other No. 1, Shingo Kunieda (JPN; 1) went up against Nicolas Peifer (FRA) for the other Men’s Singles Semifinal. With Peifer’s large stature, he looks to be the dominant player, but Kunieda presented his calmness and strength, winning the match 7­5; 7(7)­6(5).

An upset occurred in the Quad Singles where Andy Lapthorne (GBR), an unseeded competitor, removed Lucas Sithole (RSA) from his No. 1 spot. Lapthorne’s outrageous laughs when scoring a point set the tone and he won the match with scores 6-2; 6-3.

Lucas Sithole (2)
Lucas Sithole (RSA) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Quad Singles. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

The opposing Quad match had David Wagner (Chula Vista, CA, USA) facing Nick Taylor (Wichita, KS, USA) and it was a surprising one-sided match in favor of Wagner. Although Taylor is a former US Open Doubles champion and has won three Paralympic Games, his tennis skills did not show in this match. Wagner pulled this win to a 6-0; 6-0.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor (USA) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Quad Singles. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

Doubles started today at the US Open. Ellerbrock/Montjane withdrew from the Women’s Doubles match with Kamiji/Whiley, making Kamiji/Whiley the winner of the semifinals. Griffioen/Van Koot won against Buis/Walraven (NED) 6-0; 6-3. Houdet/Kunieda faced off against Fernandez/Gerard in the Men’s Doubles. The No. 1 and 2 squad (Houdet/Kunieda) beat Fernandez/Gerard 6-1; 6-2.

Aniek Van Koot
Aniek Van Koot (NED) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Women’s Singles – Semifinals. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

Day 13 of the US Open, and day three of the wheelchair tennis games, begins tomorrow at 11:00 am on Court 5 – Lucas Sithole vs. Nick Taylor; on Court 7 – Andy Lapthorne vs. David Wagner, Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (1) vs. Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, Stephane Houdet/Shingo Kunieda (1) vs. Gordon Reid/Maikel Scheffers (2); on Court 11 – Nicholas Taylor/David Wagner vs. Andy Lapthorne.

Stephane Houdet
Stephane Houdet (FRA) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Men’s Singles – Semifinals. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.
Gustavo Fernandez
Gustavo Fernandez (ARG) competes at the 2014 US Open in Wheelchair Men’s Singles – Semifinals. Photo by Michael A. Clubine.

About the Author: Ryan M. Bright is a member of the Sports ‘n Spokes and Wheelchair Sports Federation media team reporting on events at 2014 US Open in Flushing, New York.  The all-volunteer media team consists of professional writers and photographers who are donating their time and expertise to showcase the athleticism of disabled U.S. athletes and highlight their world class achievements in wheelchair tennis.  Partnering with Sports ‘n Spokes, the Wheelchair Sports Federation is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for the disabled and wheelchair using adults and youth to play sports recreationally and competitively.  For more information, visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.