Day FIVE – Quarter-Finals

sp_21344The fifth day of play in Johannesburg featured the quarter-finals of many, and the semi-finals of some, events at Wanderers and Parkview.

The younger age groups are on the Glass Court at Wanderers – 18 matches running from 09.30 until 21.00 – while the older categories were playing across several courts at Parkview.

The top four seeds made it through to the W45 and M40 semis, although 3/4 seeds Andrea Santamaria and Paul Atkinson were both takes to five games.

sp_21311In the M35 quarters top seed Mohamed Abbas looked a class act while second seed Gary Wheadon had to save a match ball to deny more Egyptian success as he beat Hussein Elmasry 12/10 in the fifth. Ray Simbule and Jimmy Schlebusch made it three South Africans in the last four.

sp_21347M45 top seeds Mike Toothill and Nick Taylor were untroubled in their passage to the semis, but Jesus Soutu and Craig Wapnick both needed five games to secure their semi-final spots. Soutu’s match against Riaan Du Toit was probably the match of the tournament so far as the Spaniard saved match ball in the fourth before winning the decider 12/10.

In the W35 semis top seeds Natalie Grainger and Lauren Briggs both won in straight games and have a day off before the final.


Quotes from today’s winners:

Sarah Fitz-Gerald:
It’s good to be back – last time I played on this court was probably 1995, and I haven’t played at 9.30 vert often since then! It’s always difficult if you’re not used to playing on courts like this, I think that affected her.

Linda Shannon:
She had a good start, but once I managed to get hitting the ball to a length I fely much better. It’s my second WM, I got to the final – and lost badly! – in Birmingham, and I’ve got a tough match coming up next !

Andrea Santamaria:
It’s so different playing on courts like these, so hard to attack the ball so I just had to try to play length. Once I managed to do that it was better, but it was still a really tough match, Delighted to make the semis, let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Hope Prockop:
She played some great hots at the end of the first, but I felt pretty comfortable after that. I’m pretty quick for my age so I was going to get everything ! In HK I lost to Sarah in the quarters so decided I needed to get better to impreve my seeding, I entered [and won] the British Open the last two years so I’m feeling good and I’ll be ready for tomorrow for sure.

Rodney Durbach:
I love this court, I’ve been playing on it for 25 years! Last time the World Masters was in South Africa I was 34, so I’m pleased to be able to make my debut here.

Paul Atkinson:
We play so often, and it’s usually like that. It seemed whoever got a good start in the games would take it, so I’m glad I made a good start to the first. I made the quarters in my first World Masters in Hong Kong, so I’m happy to go one better this time.

Patrick Chifunda:
I’ve been in the US for 17 and a half years now, so thought this would be a good opportunity to come back to South Africa for the first time since then, play my first World Masters and meet a few people. It’s changed a lot! we have 400 members and 150 juniors at my club and they all wanted me to come over for this, so I hope I can keep going for them.

Adrian Hansen:
I’ve not played this before, always wanted to but playing this one has given me the taste for it so I’ll be in the next one too!” Adrian Hansen

Mohamed Abbas:
Really enjoying my first experience of the Masters, everything in South Africa is great. You really start to feel your lungs burn even after the first rally, the altitude gets to you.”
Keith Timms : “Your lungs, what about mine!!”

Ray Simbule:
It’s my first World Championships, junior senior or masters, I’m really enjoying it so far. You just have to focus on one opponent at a time, and I know I have a tough one next …

Jimmy Schlebusch:
“I played him maybe ten years ago, so didn’t really know what to expect. I started well but then he was getting closer. I just had to try to keep it tight and he made a few mistakes at good times for me.”

Gary Wheadon:

Mike Toothill:
It’s not often I get to be top seed so there’s a bit of pressure from that, but I feel I’m playing well and I’m very used to this court so it’s all going well so far!”

Jesus Souto:
Incredible match, what a battle, match ball down and I managed to come back! I’ve played a lot of <Masters events, British, European and this is my third World Masters but my first semi-final. It will take some recovering for tomorrow against a player like Toothill, but I’ll be doing my best!”

Craig Wapnick:
I probably won the first game too easy, he was strong in the second and third and I had to regroup to get back on top.

Natalie Grainger:
It’s great to be back here and to get through to another World Masters final, one more match for the double! It’s nice to go from an old person on the tour to suddenly become one of the young ones!

Lauren Briggs:
First World Masters, first final and for it to be in South Africa is a bonus for me. And no, I’ve never been foot faulted! [check the Twitter feed]

Nick Taylor:
It was a long wait to get onto this glass court, but I really enjoyed it and I’m thrilled to reach another semi-final.


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