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Top seeds advance to second round of Tokyo Paralympics tennis event

Joachim Gerard, Shingo Kunieda, Gordon Reid, Diede De Groot, Yui Kamiji and Dylan Alcott were among those who are through to the second round of the Tokyo Paralympics tennis event

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - Wheelchair Tennis - Joachim Gerard of Belgium Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – Wheelchair Tennis – Joachim Gerard of Belgium

Third seed Joachim Gerard kicked off his campaign at the Tokyo Paralympics tennis event with a straight-sets 6-1, 6-1 win over American Casey Ratzlaff.

32-year-old Gerard comes into the event after having won his first Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January and then followed it up with another title at Wimbledon. The Belgian says winning his first singles Major has given him much more self-belief and confidence.

“I feel stronger, because now I know I can. Even if I knew I could do it, I never did it. To go such a long time without a Grand Slam was really tough, but I did it and I know that I can do big things. I think that’s why I can play freely, and maybe play my best game,” Gerard said as quoted by the ITF website.

Among the other winners in the men’s singles event in Tokyo on Saturday included top seed Shingo Kunieda, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett.

De Groot, Kamiji and Whiley advance in women’s singles

On the women’s side, top seed Diede De Groot scored a 6-1, 6-0 win over Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana to move into the second round.

Second seed Yui Kamiji also advanced with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Argentina’s Maria Florencia Moreno; Dutchwoman Aniek Van Koot defeated Germany’s Katharina Kruger 6-3, 6-1; Britain’s Jordanne Whiley scored a 6-0 6-3 win over Angelica Bernal; and American Dana Mathewson defeated France’s Charlotte Fairbank 6-0, 6-3.

In the quad singles event, defending champion Dylan Alcott defeated Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi 6-0, 6-2; second seed Sam Schroder beat Israel’s Yosi Saadon 6-1, 6-2; third seed Andy Lapthorne defeated Canada’s Robert Shaw 6-3, 6-3; and American David Wagner, a three-time Paralympic champion, beat Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

The tennis events at the Tokyo Paralympics include the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles.

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