All of the wheelchair tennis divisions were in semifinal action Friday at the US Open, with each of the top seeds advancing to the title match and both of the men's and women's No. 2 singles seeds upset.
Defending men’s singles champion and top seed Shingo Kunieda dropped only two games in his 6-2, 6-0 rout of Ronald Vink of the Netherlands. The 27-year-old Japan native will next face Stephane Houdet, who toppled the No. 2 seed Maikel Scheffers 6-4, 6-0 to reach the championship round. Houdet is currently ranked third in the world and is seeking his first US Open singles trophy, and he is the only player to have beaten Kunieda in three years, ending Kunieda's 106-match winning streak in November 2010.
In his match, Kunieda put on a show of the kind of tennis that has seen him go 26-1 in singles this year, including capturing the Australian Open title. His ability to track down nearly every ball, even when it was behind him or well above his head, combined with his unreturnable forehand down-the-line return in the deuce court, was just too much for Vink.
In men's wheelchair doubles, the top-seeded Dutch team of Vink and Scheffers defeated Kunieda and Stephen Welch in a three-set battle 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Seeding held to form on the other side of the draw here, with No. 2 Frenchmen Houdet and Nicolas Peifer claiming a 6-3, 6-3 win over Stefan Olsson and Robin Ammerlaan to reach the finals.
Women's top seed and undefeated Esther Vergeer took a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Belgian Annick Sevenans, who is playing in her sophomore US Open. Vergeer, who is on an eight-year, 424-match win streak in singles, will try to defend her US Open title against 21-year-old Aniek Van Koot, who dismissed No. 2 seed Jiske Griffioen 6-3, 6-2.
Vergeer again teamed up with Sharon Walraven in doubles to defend their championship, and they edged out Daniela Di Toro and Emmy Kaiser 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the finals. There, they will meet No. 2 seeds Griffioen and Van Koot, who dispatched Sevenans and Marjolein Buis 6-4, 7-6(8).
In quad wheelchair singles, American David Wagner bounced back from a first-match loss to Israel’s Noam Gershony to secure a 6-0, 6-2 win over fellow American Nick Taylor. Wagner is the defending champ in both quad singles and doubles (with Taylor), earning his first US Open singles title last year.
Peter Norfolk, the No. 1 quad player in the world and two-time US Open titlist, got the better of Israel’s Noam Gershony, who is making his US Open debut, with a 7-5, 6-2 win.