Kunieda beats Mharakurwa

LONDON - Defending champion Shingo Kunieda ended Nyasha Mharakurwa’s dream of winning Africa’s first medal in wheelchair tennis at Eton Manor yesterday.

The Zimbabwean fell to a 6-0, 6-0 defeat in a second-round match that took just 36 minutes.

Mharakurwa said afterwards: “I feel good. I played calmly and I gave him a bit of trouble. The difference is he makes every ball count. He’s still trying after two, three balls and he doesn’t give you a chance to wind it up.He doesn’t give you a chance in the end. He takes control.”

Elsewhere in the men’s competition, another Japanese player, five-time Paralympian Satoshi Saida, suffered a surprise defeat to rookie Adam Kellerman of Australia as he went down 6-3, 6-2.

In the first round of the Quad Singles, Peter Norfolk of Great Britain — the world number three — started his campaign for a third Paralympic gold with a routine win over Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi.

After winning 6-0, 6-0, he said: “I was nervous but the crowd were great.

It’s a nice feeling and a lovely atmosphere, and that’s all thanks to the crowd. I enjoyed the match.

“I am concentrating on one match at a time. I know that the next one will be tough, but I am looking forward to the challenge of each match. It’s a tough draw and potentially we could have an all-British final.”

Despite the apparent ease of his win, Norfolk said Moroishi was a challenge, adding: “I played him in Japan and he is a very strong and difficult player. He plays with a good spin. If it was windier and he had the wind with him, I would have found it difficult. In this court the wind changes direction quite a bit.”

In the Quad Doubles, Beijing 2008 silver medallist Shraga Weinberg of Israel and new partner Noam Gershony beat Anders Hard and Marcus Jonsson of  Sweden 6-1, 6-4.

They joined Japanese pair Moroishi and Shota Kawano in the semifinals after they proved too strong for Marco Innocenti and Giuseppe Polidori 6-3 7-6.

They were joined by USA pair Nick Taylor/David Wagner and Great Britain’s Norfolk/Andy Lapthorne who had byes. — London 2012

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