Australia’s Adam Kellerman and Korea’s Ju-Yeon Park made winning starts to the 2014 ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour, both lifting the men’s and women’s singles titles at the Queensland Open in Brisbane on Saturday.
Kellerman, who ended 2013 as the number one player in Australia and number 17 in the world, opened his account for 2014 with a contest against his compatriot Dylan Alcott, who will make his Grand Slam debut in the quad singles at the Australian Open later this month.
Kellerman prevailed 6-3, 6-4 against Alcott, but enjoyed a much more comfortable 6-0, 6-1 quarterfinal win over David Coulson to set up a semifinal against Australian No. 2 and world No. 18 Ben Weekes.
Kellerman, who took up wheelchair tennis after undergoing hip surgery aged 13 due to cancer, defeated third seed Weekes 6-2, 6-4, in their semifinal to earn a place in the final against Japanese top seed Takuya Miki, one of two Asian players in the top half of the draw.
After defeating Korea Republic’s Ji-Hwan Lee 6-0, 6-0 in the last eight Miki moved into the final having dropped only two games in three matches and he looked to be on course for the Queensland title after dropping just one game in the opening set against Kellerman. However, the 23-year-old Sydney right-hander battled back strongly for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory to land the second ITF 2 Series title of his career.
All three of Kellerman and Miki’s career matches have now gone to a third and deciding set.
“I’m really happy with my start in 2014, I’ve been training really hard for the Australian summer series and the work is paying off,” said Kellerman, who will now prepare for the Sydney International Open, the first Super Series tournament of the year.
Park and Japan’s Miho Nijo occupied the two seeded positions in the women’s singles, which began with comfortable wins for Australia’s Sarah Calati and Janel Manns.
Top seed Park went on to beat Calati 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals, while Nijo also dropped just four games in her semifinal after a 6-2, 6-2 win over Manns. However the final proved to be much closer as Park eventually held on for a 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-4 victory.
Saturday’s win gave the Korean the second ITF 2 Series title of her career outside of her home country after she joined Kellerman in claiming major honours at last August’s Wroclaw Cup in Poland.
Despite Kellerman and Miki being tops seeds for the men’s doubles they had to be content with runners-up honours as second seeds Keegan Oh-Chee and Weekes secured an all-Australian victory, winning the final 6-2, 6-2.
Nijo and Park claimed the first women’s doubles title of 2014 after winning both their round-robin matches in straight sets, earning a 76(3) 60 win over runners-up Calati and Manns.
Players will next compete at the Sydney International Open at Sydney Olympic Park from 10 January 2014.
By ITF Media