China's Hui Min Huang and Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit both beat players ranked in the world’s top-10 today to reach the women’s singles quarter-finals at the Bendigo Wheelchair Tennis Open in Australia.
Huang excelled to win her first-ever career match against German third seed Sabine Ellerbrock, triumphing 7-6, 6-3 at the recently re-developed Bendigo Tennis Centre.
She now goes on to play sixth seed Marjolein Buis for a place in the semi-finals after the Dutchwoman made a winning start to 2019 and extended her unbeaten record against China’s Zhu Zhenzhen to three matches, prevailing 7-5, 6-3.
Former world number six Khanthasit has a much longer history of beating top-10 opponents than Huang and the Thai number one prolonged that record after defeating world number 10 and eighth seed Manami Tanaka of Japan 6-2, 6-2.
Next up for her is top seed Yui Kamiji, who opened her bid for another International Tennis Federation Super Series title in Australia by overcoming her 18-year-old compatriot Shiori Funamizu 6-1, 6-0.
Having won the first three of her nine career matches against Kamiji between 2010 and 2014, Khanthasit is without a win against the Japanese star in their last six encounters.
The first men’s singles match of 2019 between two top-10 opponents brought a 6-2, 6-2 victory for Maikel Scheffers as the Dutch world number 10 ousted eighth seed Takashi Sanada of Japan.
He goes through to play second-seeded Argentinean Gustavo Fernández, who began the new season by ending the last remaining Australian challenge in the men’s singles with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Ben Weekes.
The men’s last eight will also see world number one Shingo Kunieda of Japan face two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden for the first time since the latter won their epic round-robin match at last month’s NEC Masters in Orlando.
Kunieda opened his 2019 campaign with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Thailand’s Suthi Khlongrua, while Olsson secured a 6-1, 6-0 victory against China’s Feng Xiao Min.
Men’s doubles pairing Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer of France will meet for the first time this season in singles competition after the former booked his place in the last eight by beating The Netherlands’ Tom Egberink 6-2, 7-6 and the latter eased past Japan’s Satoshi Saida in a 6-2, 6-3 success.
After ending last year as NEC Masters champion for the third time, world number four Joachim Gérard of Belgium powered to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Spain’s Martin de la Puente to set up a meeting with Great Britain’s Gordon Reid in the last eight.
World number seven Reid, the Super Series champion in Australia in 2014, posted the only 6-0, 6-0 victory of the day as he got the better of Bendigo local Greg Britten.
With world number one Dylan Alcott of Australia and world number two David Wagner of the United States receiving byes into the quad singles semi-finals, they have been joined in the last four by world number three Andy Lapthorne of Britain and world number four Koji Sugeno of Japan.
Sugeno denied local fans an all-Australian semi-final by defeating Heath Davidson 6-4, 6-2 and will now play Alcott for a place in the final.
Lapthorne will play his doubles partner Wagner in the semi-finals after overcoming Asian Para Games gold medallist Kim Kyu-Seung of South Korea 6-0, 6-4.