Partners on and off the table Scott Robertson and Sue Bailey made it through to the knockout stages of the mixed doubles XD10 at the French Para Open in Saint Quentin en Yvelines today. Robertson is also through to the last 16 of the men’s doubles MD8 with Frenchman Francois Geuljans while teenager Grace Williams is through to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles WD20 with Frenchwoman Lucie Hautiere.
Mixed doubles XD10
Class 5 Robertson and class 4 Bailey started well in their match against the class 5 Korean pair of Park Jae Hyeon and Jung Young A taking the first set 12-10 but the Asian championship team bronze medallist and women’s class 5 World number four just had the edge in the next three to secure a 3-1 win. Robertson and Bailey beat teammate Simon Heaps and his American partner Valerie Ann Rolph 3-0 and then needed to win their final match against the men’s class 5 World champion Ali Ozturk and women’s class 3 World number 10 Hatice Duman to progress from their group. It went to a deciding set after the Turkish pair twice levelled the match and it was Robertson and Bailey who came out on top, taking the set 11-7 and the match 3-2.
They play the class 5 pair from Thailand, Asian Youth Games champion Norakan Chanpahaka and Panwas Sringam, gold medallist in last year’s Paralympic World Qualification Tournament, in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Heaps and Rolph went out of the group after losing 3-0 to Turkey and 3-0 to Korea.
Mixed doubles XS17-20
Class 7 Theo Bishop and class 8 Grace Williams had a tough opening match against the class 6 Paralympic, World and European champion Peter Rosenmeier and class 10 European bronze medallist Thea Nielsen and the experienced Danish pair were 3-0 winners. The young British pair then lost in four close sets to class 7 Dustin Eier from Netherlands and women’s class 10 European team bronze medallist Marlene Reeg from Germany and did not progress after a 3-0 loss to the strong Japanese pair of men’s class 9 World bronze medallist Koyo Iwabuchi and women’s class 8 World number nine Yuri Tomono.
Men’s doubles MD8
Robertson and class 3 Geuljans won their first match against the class 5 PanAmerican silver medallist Ahad Bakhshaei Sarand and class 3 Tokyo bronze medallist Jenson Van Emburgh from USA 3-1. They had a great battle in their second match against Simon Heaps and class 3 Frenchman Stephane Gil-Martins which went to a deciding set. Robertson and Geuljans led 5-2 but Heaps and Gil-Martins levelled at 6-6 before Robertson and Geuljans pulled away to take the set 11-7 and the match 3-2. That was enough to secure a place in the knockout stages despite a 3-0 loss in their final match to class 3 world number nine and Tokyo team bronze medallist Yuttajak Glinbanchuen and class 4 World number six Wanchai Chaiwut from Thailand.
Robertson and Geuljans play class 3 Tokyo and Rio team bronze medallist Anurak Laowong and class 5 Asian Para Youth Games champion Norakan Chanpahaka from Thailand in the last 16.
Heaps and Gil-Martins did not progress after a 3-0 loss to Thailand and a 3-1 loss to USA.
Class 2 Andrew Guy and class 4 Lee York were up against it in Group 4 and lost their opening match 3-0 to the French pair of class 4 World number three and three-time European champion Maxime Thomas and class 5 European team gold medallist Alexandre Delarque. They were beaten 3-0 byTsuyoshi Watanabe and Tetsuya Tamatsu from Japan and lost their final match to Laowong and Chanpahaka 3-0.
Men’s doubles MD14
Teenager Theo Bishop and 22-year-old Hwang Inchun from Korea were beaten 3-0 by class 6 former European team bronze medallist Michael Azulay and class 8 former World number one and World and Paralympic medallist Emil Andersson from Sweden. They then fought their way back from 2-0 down against Dustin Eier and Yannick Paredis from the Netherlands to level at 2-2, and again showed great determination in the final set to come back from 5-1 down to win 11-8. Bishop and Hwang played well against the experienced class 7 French pair of World and European team medallist Kevin Dourbecker and former Paralympic champion Stephane Messi but a 3-0 defeat left them in third place in their group.
Women’s doubles WD10
Sue Bailey teamed up with Hatice Duman and they lost their opening match in three close sets to the French pair of class 5 World number eight Alexandra Saint Pierre and class 4 Flora Vautier. They lost 3-0 to class 4 World number nine and four-time PanAmerican champion Joyce De Oliveira from Brazil and class 4 World team medallist Faten Elelimat from Jordan and although they won their final match against the American/Spanish pair of Valerie Ann Rolph and Cristina Rubio 3-0 they finished in third place in their group and did not progress.
Women’s doubles WD20
Williams and Hautiere, the 21-year-old Egypt Open champion, received a walkover in their first match when Thea Nielsen from Denmark and Anja Handen from Sweden withdrew and they won their second match against Olaia Martinez and Pilar Gonzalez from Spain 3-0. The class 8 British/French pair faced a tough task in their final match against the class 10 pair of 2020 Chile Open gold medallist Nozomi Nakamura from Japan and European team bronze medallist Marlene Reeg from Germany but they pushed them all the way, taking the third set 12-10, before Nakamura and Reeg secured a 3-1 win in the fourth.
Having finished second in the group they went through to the semi-finals tomorrow where they will play the European team champions from Turkey, class 9 World number six Neslihan Kavas and class 10 World number six and European silver medallist Merve Demir.