March 3rd, 2024

Sasson outbattles Shaw, advances to wheelchair singles semifinals at Australian Open

By The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Athletes compete during a match at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andy Wong

MELBOURNE, Australia – The final score line reads 6-4, 6-2 and a quarterfinal victory for the favoured fourth seed.

But Robert Shaw of North Bay, Ont., had a legitimate shot at upsetting Guy Sasson of Israel in quad wheelchair singles on Tuesday at the Australian Open had it not been for some untimely service hiccups.

Shaw, who hopes to qualify for the 2024 Paris Paralympics, was leading the first set 4-2 and looked in control when his serve let him down and allowed Sasson to rally from behind and eventually take the set in 38 minutes.

Sasson took the second set 6-2 in 61 minutes, but several games were locked at 40-40 with Shaw unable to convert on his opportunities.

Sasson finished with five aces, five double faults, 45 winners, 24 unforced errors, seven of 15 break points won, 32 return points won and 26 service points won.

Shaw had no aces, one double fault, 22 winners, 12 unforced errors, four of 11 break points won, 18 return points won.

Sasson advances to the semifinals to play top-seeded Niels Vink of Netherlands, who defeated Francisco Cayulef of Chile 6-2, 6-1.

Shaw advanced to the quarters with a 6-1, 6-0 win on Monday over Finn Broadbent of Australia, while Sasson bounced Ali Ataman of Turkey 6-0, 6-1.

Later on Tuesday, Shaw teamed up with Heath Davidson of Australia to play Broadbent and Britain’s Gregory Slade in the men’s wheelchair doubles quarterfinals.

Also on Tuesday, Keegan Rice of Regina, Sask., and American Roy Horovitz were scheduled to play a junior boys’ doubles quarterfinal match against Americans Maxwell Exsted and Cooper Woestendick.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.

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