Photo: Serena Ovens, Serena Corporate Photography
The Sydney International Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, came to Sydney Olympic Park last week to battle it out over five days. The tournament is an ITF Level 1 tournament with participants travelling worldwide to compete. According to Wheelchair Sports NSW, the tournament features over 70% of international players.
With temperatures of 35 plus degrees during the week and even 40 degrees and over on the second last day of play, athletes had to compete with the action on the court as well as the elements.
The extreme heat rule was put in place for most of Saturday’s play, with both the men’s and women’s doubles final suspended until Sunday. Both the women’s and men’s singles and doubles finals featured the number one and two seeded players facing off against each other.
Australia’s Daniela Di Toro played a fantastic match against her opponent, Jiske Griffioen. This was a rematch of the Sydney International Open 2010 final, Di Toro reversing her fortune and winning in straight sets.
Shingo Kunieda, from Japan defeated Ronald Vink, winning the men’s singles final. The first set was tough, with both athletes playing to the highest quality. Kunieda won the first set 7-5 but was then able to wear down his opponent in the second set, 6-2.
Tournament Director, Lara Giltinan, explains, “Despite the tough conditions, all players competed at such a high level. The tournament plays an important part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, and wheelchair tennis in general.”
Women’s singles final
Daniela Di Toro defeated Jiske Griffioen 6-1 6-2
Men’s singles final
Shingo Kunieda defeated Ronald Vink 7-5 6-2
Women’s doubles final
Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot defeated Marjolein Buis and Annick Sevenans 7-5 6-0
Men’s doubles final
Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink defeated Shingo Kunieda and Maikel Scheffers 7-5 6-2