Just two of the top four seeds will contest Friday’s semi-finals in both the men’s and women’s singles at Bolton Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament after an enthralling third day of play on Thursday at USN Bolton Arena, when the first of the finalists were decided in the quad doubles.
Meanwhile, Brits Louise Hunt and Lucy Shuker remain in contention for the women’s doubles title.
After winning last week’s Preston Indoor having started the tournament unseeded, 16-year-old Jef Vandorpe extended his winning streak on British soil when beating Spanish fourth seed Daniel Caverzaschi 6-1, 6-2 to set up an all-Belgian semi-final.
Vandorpe is likely to find his semi-final much more of a challenge as he takes on his countryman, world No.9 and top seed Joachim Gerard, who powered to a 6-0, 6-2 quarter-final win over Argentina’s Ezequiel Casco.
Third seed Evans Maripa of South Africa joins Gerard and Vandorpe in the last four after defeating Ruben Spaargaren of the Netherlands in two very different sets of tennis, progressing 7-6(5), 6-0. While it was a good day for the Belgian men, it wasn’t such a good day for the Dutch players left in the men’s singles as unseeded Frenchman Gaetan Menguy beat world No. 10 Maikel Scheffers 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3.
Italy’s Giulia Capocci will meet Dutch opposition in the Bolton Indoor women’s singles semi-finals for the second year in a row. After being narrowly edged out of her last four contest in a final set tie-break against eventual champion Marjolein Buis last year, Capocci plays top seed Aniek van Koot for a place in the 2018 final. The Italian eighth seed ended the hopes of British Noi.1 and two-time Bolton Indoor finalist Lucy Shuker 6-3, 6-2.
Van Koot, winner of the inaugural Bolton Indoor women’s title in 2014, kept her quest for a second victory at the ITF 2 Series event on track after defeating her countrywoman Michaela Spaanstra 6-2, 6-2.
While Vandorpe remains on course in his bid for back-to-back Preston Indoor and Bolton Indoor titles, so does the USA’s Dana Mathewson in the women’s singles. Sixth seed this week in Bolton, Mathewson defeated fourth seed Katharina Kruger of Germany for the second time in a row.
After a confident 6-0, 6-2 win Mathewson will now play reigning champion Buis after the Dutch world No.5 came through a tough quarter-final against fifth seed Charlotte Famin of France 7-6(2), 6-3.
The only British hope of a main draw title now lies in the women’s doubles after Hunt and Shuker won their quarter-final, which featured three Brits. Fourth seeds Hunt and Shuker defeated Lauren Jones and Capocci 6-4, 6-3. With all four seeded partnerships into the semi-finals after straight sets quarter-final wins, Hunt and Shuker play second seeds Famin and Mathewson for a place in the final.
With Andy Lapthorne already through to Friday’s quad singles semi-finals, any hopes of Antony Cotterill and Lapthorne reaching the quad doubles final disappeared after a closely fought last four contest. The top seeded Brits bowed out to the USA’s Greg Hasterok and Canada Robert Shaw 7-6(4), 6-3. A North American champion is certain to be crowned in the quad doubles after Bryan Barten of the USA and Koji Sugeno of Japan won the other semi-final against another British duo, Gary Cox and Richard Green, 6-2, 6-0.
Three of the four seeded combinations in the men’s doubles will contest the semi-finals after Thursday’s third day of play in Bolton ended with Maripa and Rody de Bie of the Netherlands defeating Argentinian fourth seeds Casco and Agustin Ledesma 7-5, 7-5 in the last match on court.