Semi-finals day of the WSF World Masters in Johannesburg saw 24 matches two decide the remaining finalists – some women’s categories were decided yesterday – at Parkview and the Wanderers.
The top two seeds won through in just four of today’s matches, which featured a number of upset results to add to those already seen.
M35 top seed Mohamed Abbas continued his serene progress, although the Egyptian was aided by his opponent being awarded a ‘conduct match’ at the end of the second game for lobbing the ball at the referee after receiving a no let decision. Abbas, the only Egyptian to reach the final, will meet South Africa’s second seed Gary Wheadon who beat compatriot Jimmy Schlebusch in straight games.
The M40 final will be an all-South African affair between top seeds Rodney Durbach and Adrian Hansen, as will the women’s O40 final after wins from Samantha Herbert and Anlen Murray.
Top seed Mike Tootill will fly the South African flag in the M45 final aiming for a second title but England’s second seed Nick Taylor will be looking for his first World Masters title after beating local favourite Craig Wapnick in straight games.
The M50 final will also be South Africa v England after top seeds Craig van der Wath – looking for a record sixth title – and Yawar Abbas won their semifinals in contrasting fashion, van der Wath needing just 18 minutes while Abbas needed all five games.
Australia’s Sarah Fitz-Gerald will be aiming for a third Masters title after the five-time world champion continued her run of quick victories today. Her opponent, England’s Andrea Santamaria spent over four times as long on court as she won a dramatic five-setter against second seed Hope Prockop, saving match ball along the way.
Ireland’s reigning champion Willie Hosey continued his run of straight-game wins in the M55 against Bryan Beeson, but Cayman’s two-time defending M60 champion John Macrury lost out to Germany’s Udo Kahl.
The W60 top seed was beaten too, Scotland’s Pauline Douglas falling in straight games to Julie Field, who will contest an all-English final against second seed Ann Richards.
Finals take place at Parkview and the Wanderers tomorrow.
What they Said:
Paul hits the ball so crisply and has a great boast, which is a big advantage on this court, but I knew I probably had the edge physically. The court was playing very fast this morning, so I was wary of taking anything in short. I started each game well so I just tried to stay a few points ahead, he was unlikely to win five or six in a row.
Happy with that. He obviously had the edge on me physically, so I had to try to keep it tight and stick top my lines, and I thought I did that well. I had to resist getting into a bashing game which would have suited him down to the ground, so I managed to pick my times going short which I was pleased with.
After the first two games I got a bit complacent and went too defensive. I’m a hacker and always have been, so I have to attack and I managed to start attacking again in the fifth. Delighted to make the final in my first World Masters!
Tough match, it was a bit up and down, I felt good in the middle then tightened up my length in the fifth. It’s my third World Masters, I’ve finished fourth and third so it’s definitely an improvement!
Oh wow! I’m over the moon, that was my final, I wanted to get revenge for losing in the British Open final. Tomorrow I’m just going to go out and enjoy playing the world number one !!
It’s a pity it had to end that way, but I’m delighted to be in the final.
Happy with that, I was more consistent than yesterday, I stayed switched on the whole match Jimmy’s a good player so very happy to come away with a three-nil, and delighted to make the final in my first World Masters – it takes away some of the #shame’ of becoming old!
Really excited to be in the final. Jesus put up a great fight, glad I got a lead in that fourth. The home crowd really helps …”
Pleased with that. He had a plan and played well, it made me a bit edgy. “I love playing in front of big crowds and this one was great although it’s a bit daunting at times. Really pleased to be in the final.
Really happy with that. I lost in the quarters four years ago 11-9 in the fifth to the eventual winner who never lost another game, but since I retired two years ago I’ve been able to really work on my game. I’m feeling good but sometimes desperation is still needed!
I’m very happy with my performance this week, I couldn’t play any better than I did today so good luck to Ian in the final.