Stellenbosch, South Africa – Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced the seeds and wildcards for the Digicall Futures 1 on Friday (today).

The Digicall Futures 1 will be played in Stellenbosch from Monday 2 November with the final played on Sunday 8 November at the Maties Tennis Club on the University of Stellenbosch sporting grounds.
The qualifying rounds for the tournament will be from Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November. This tournament will see players from 12 different countries taking part.
Both the men’s and the women’s draw are 32 draws.

The men’s seeds are led by Pascal Brunner of Austria who is currently ranked 412 on the ATP World Tour Rankings. Brunner won the Austrian and Slovenian Futures titles this year.
Brunners is seeded to meet South African Davis Cup player Nik Scholtz in the final. Third seed is Capetonian and rising South African star in his last year as a junior, Lloyd Harris. Scholtz and Harris are ranked 450 and 497 respectively.
The only other South Africa man to make the men’s seedings is Keith-Patrick Crowley seeded 7.

The women’s seeds are led by Hungarian Naomi Totka. Totka is currently ranked 391 on the WTA Rankings and was winner of the Egypt Futures in April this year.
Second seed is German Jasmin Jebawy who is ranked 607.
The only South African in the top 8 is fourth seed Madrie Le Roux who is currently ranked 788 on the WTA Rankings.

The seeds were announced as follows;

1-Pascal Brunner (Aut)
2-Nik Scholtz (RSA)
3-Lloyd Harris (RSA)
4-Javier Pulgar-Garcia (Esp)
5-Lucas Miedler (Aut)
6-James Marsalek (GBR)
7-Keith-Patrick Crowley (RSA)
8-Dekel Bar (Isr)

1-Naomi Totka (Hun)
2-Jasmin Jebawy (Ger)
3-Jaeda Daniel (USA)
4-Madrie Le Roux (RSA)
5-Katharina Hering (Ger)
6-Alexandra Riley (USA)
7-Luisa Marie Huber (Ger)
8-Amelie Intert (Ger)

The wildcards were announced as follows;

Timothy Dollman (RSA), Chevaan Davids (RSA), Johannes Myburgh (RSA), Lloyd Segal (RSA), Matthew Johnson (RSA) and Yaseen Ibrahim (RSA).

Nicole Petchy (RSA), Lesedi Jacobs (Nam), Yijia Shao (Chn) and Shannon Cox (RSA).


Stellenbosch, South Africa - Next week, international professional tennis returns to Stellenbosch in the Western Province when the Digicall Futures 1 will be played from Monday 2 November with the final played on Sunday 8 November.

Madrie Le Roux

Nik Scholtz

Picture credit: Tennis South Africa

The tournament is the first of three back to back international men’s and women’s events to be played simultaneously each week at the same venue, The Maties Tennis Club on the University of Stellenbosch sporting grounds.

The Digicall Futures 2 will be played from Monday 9 November with the finals on Sunday 15 November and the Digicall Futures 3 from Monday 16 November until Sunday 22 November.

A strong entry of local and international players has entered the Digicall Futures 1 including South Africa’s Davis Cup squad players Nik Scholtz and Lloyd Harris.
Nik Scholtz currently ranked the third highest player in the country at 450 said “It is always great to play at home, the amount of support you get is always great. Playing at home also means the climate is on your side as you are more used to it. This also gives those players who would otherwise be unable to travel overseas to participate in such a tournament.”

Lloyd Harris who is currently ranked 497 and the fourth highest ranked player in the country said “It is great that we are having a Futures Series in the country. Normally South African tennis players have to travel to other countries which is usually quite costly. Having a Futures Series in the country helps all South African players to participate in a world class tournament at a fraction of the price.”

There will be players from 12 different countries represented in the men’s tournament.

The women’s draw which includes South African number three and South African Fed Cup team player Madrie Le Roux also has players representing 12 countries entered in the women’s draw including rising star from Hungary Naomi Totka and Jasmin Jebawy of Germany.

Tournament Director Le Roux Conradie said that he was delighted with the strength of the entry. “It’s always good to host international players in South Africa, especially in Stellenbosch which has over the years been a major attraction for tourists and a popular tournament venue. The field of players entered is top class and promises for some exciting tennis. The Digicall Futures series will also enable our rising South African players to earn world ranking points which will enable them to position themselves on the international rankings and assist them with their future careers.”

The qualifying rounds from the Digicall Futures 1 will be played on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November with the main draw commencing Tuesday 2 November. The finals of the Digicall Futures 1 are scheduled for Sunday 8 November.


Stellenbosch, South Africa - With temperatures souring to more than 40 degrees Celsius some of the players at the Curro Junior ITF 2 tennis tournament lifted their game to produce some red-hot tennis on a very warm day in Stellenbosch.

Boys top seed Timothy Dollman in action at the Curro Junior ITF 2 on Tuesday. Dollman beat unseeded Eduardo Morais of Angola 6-3 6-2 in the third round.

Third seed Sipho Montsi on Tuesday at the Curro Junior ITF 2. Montsi beat unseeded South African Dylan Puchert 6-1 6-1 in round 3.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication

Top seeds Nicole Petchey and Timothy Dollman did not have too much trouble to book their place in the quarterfinals. Petchey won her match against Britain’s Olivia Elliot 6-1, 6-1, while Dollman’s opponent Eduardo Morais from Angola played some good tennis until cramps started to hamper him. Dollman won with 6-3, 6-2.

The highest seeded player to stumble on day two was sixth seed Lance-Pierre du Toit who also played the longest match of the day. He lost in just less than three hours to 12th seed Philip Henning, who won by 1-6, 6-3 and 6-2. The 10th seed Christian van der Wath lost in three sets to unseeded Christiaan Worst, who won 0-6, 6-3 and 6-3. Thirteen proved to be an unlucky number for Aaron Marks who stumbled against Daniel du Toit (1-6, 6-1 and 6-3). On day one various seeded players were eliminated including girls’ third seed Nadine de Villiers, fourth seed Amelie Boy and in the boys’ draw Altus Karsten (5th).

Last week’s champions Eliz Maloney and Bertus Kruger – both seeded two for this week – is also still going strong. Maloney made easy work of her match against Corin de Waal by winning 6-1, 6-1. Kruger lost only three games in his victory by 6-2, 6-1 over Pierre Malan. Third seed Sipho Montsi had an easy win over Dylan Puchert in two sets 6-1, 6-1.

Stellenbosch local Minette van Vreden is producing some good form and won her match against Samantha Johnson in quick time by 6-0, 6-1. Other seeded players through to the next round are James Roelofse (11th), Imaan Hassim (5th), Maja Gledic (6th), Ciney Bekker (7th) and Freddie van der Merwe (9th).


Stellenbosch, South Africa - It was a tough and warm day in the office for the players at the Curro Junior ITF 2 tennis tournament in Stellenbosch.

Unseeded South African Minette Van Vreden upset fourth seed Amelie Boy Mauritius 3-6 6-1 6-3 in round 1 of the Curro Junior ITF 2 on Monday.

Top seed Nicole Petchey of South Africa in action at the Curro Junior ITF 2 on Monday. Petchey beat unseeded fellow South African Makayla Loubser 6-4 6-3 in round 1.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication

While top seed Nicole Petchey in the girls’ draw secured her place in the second round by beating unseeded Makayla Loubser 6-4, 6-3 some of the other seeded players were eliminated on day one already. It was a solid start for Petchey, who are looking for a tournament win after having played in last week’s final.

Stellenbosch local Minette van Vreden caused the first upset of the day when she got the better of fourth seed Amelie Boy from Mauritius. Van Vreden needed three sets after losing the first set. The score was 3-6, 6-1 and 6-3. Another seeded player to not make it past the first round was Megan Lombardi. Fellow South African Carmen Fichardt beat the number eight seed by 2-6, 6-3 and 6-3.

The highest seeded player to be eliminated was third seeded Nadine de Villiers. After getting the opportunity to serve for the match in the second set at 5-3, her opponent unseeded Angela Georgieva fought back and got the victory by 4-6, 7-5 and 6-4.

Last week’s champion form the Curro Junior ITF 1 tournament Eliz Maloney from Britain made easy work of her first round match by beating South African Sinazo Solani 6-0, 6-0.

Other seeded players safely through to the second round are fifth seed Imaan Hassim, sixth seed Maja Gledic and Ciney Bekker seeded seventh.


Stellenbosch, South Africa - Bertus Kruger and Eliz Maloney won the Curro Junior ITF 1 on Friday in Stellenbosch.

The singles finalists of the Curro Junior ITF 1 tennis tournament. From left; South African girls top seed and runner up Nicole Petchey, girls singles winner and second seed Eliz Maloney of Great Britain, tournament director Le Roux Conradie, boys third seed South African and boys winner Bertus Kruger and top seed and boys runner up South African Timothy Dollman.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication

Both Kruger and Maloney had to win their matches against the top seeds, Timothy Dollman and Nicole Petchey respectively.

Third seed Kruger won the final 1-6, 6-1 and 6-4 against Dollman in just more than two hours.

Kruger battled his way past a very bad first set to put Dollman on the back foot after winning the second going into the deciding set. “I didn’t have a great start but after the second set I played with more confidence. It’s not easy to play against Tim and I had to dig very deep in the final set. I had my chances and am just glad I took them and did not let Tim get back in the match.”

According to Kruger winning the tournament was not part of the plan for the week. “I did not expect to win the tournament. I wanted badly to play in the final, but seeded third I was up against it. I am very happy with the win and enjoyed the week.”

Maloney had to travel all the way from Britain to win her first ITF title. She got the better of Petchey by beating the South African 6-7 (5), 6-2 and 6-2 in just under three hours. “I am so happy with the title. Hopefully it is the first of many to come. I enjoyed coming to South Africa and playing here in Stellenbosch is really special.”

Maloney had the chance to serve for the first set. “Nicole is such a tough opponent. I really had to lift my game to be able to beat her today.”

This weekend is the qualifying matches for the Curro Junior ITF 2 tournament that starts on Monday. This tournament will also be played at the Coetzenburg tennis courts of the Stellenbosch University.


• Raven Klaasen wins his 9th ATP title in Shanghai

Shanghai, China - The South African/Brazilian pairing of Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo claimed its second straight doubles title on Sunday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, topping the all-Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3 at the Qizhong Tennis Center.

From left, Brazilian Marcelo Melo and doubles partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa.

Picture credit: Getty Images

Klaasen/Melo were teaming up for the second week in a row after capturing the Tokyo title (d. Cabal/Farah).
“The last two weeks have been great,” said Klaasen. “We’ve played some really good tennis together. I’ve enjoyed my time with him on the court. It’s been a lot of fun on and off the court. When you win this much, it’s good out there.”

For sure I expected us to have good results,” said Melo. “But I have to be honest, I never expected to win two tournaments at this level. I think we combine really well together. Raven has a really good volley and he knows how to cover a lot of the net. I also have a good volley, so passing us at the net is not that easy. We have fun and that’s the most important thing for me.”
The No. 5-seeded Bolelli/Fognini tandem came out firing, opening the match with a break and a subsequent consolidation to go up 2-0. However, a loose service game from Fognini would allow his opponents to bring the match back on serve at 2-all. Klaasen/Melo, who would convert five of their seven break-point opportunities on the afternoon, held on to that momentum, breaking for 5-3. The pair then saved three break points to serve out the set in a mere 30 minutes.

Fognini took out his frustration on his racquet between sets. The brief show of emotion seemed to spur his side on, and the Italians were once again out to an early 2-0 advantage in the second set. But just as in the first set, Klaasen/Melo battled back to level the stanza at 2-2. With Bolelli/Fognini serving to stay in the match down 3-5, Klaasen/Melo would notch their fifth and final break of the match to close it out.
“We actually got off to a shaky start,” said Klaasen. “I lost my serve straight out the gate. We managed to get a break back early and that kind of settled me down. Marcelo’s pretty experienced, he’s good in these situations. Once we got our momentum going, we felt good out there. We’re very happy with the result today.”
The win in China was Klaasen’s 9th ATP Tour title.

Australian Open champions Bolelli and Fognini were appearing in their fourth final of the season (1-3) and were seeking their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title after runner-up efforts in Indian Wells (l. to Pospisil/Sock) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Bryan/Bryan) earlier this season. They also reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Bryan/Bryan). Their other career titles came in Umag in 2011 and Buenos Aires in 2013.


Johannesburg, South Africa- A year ago, Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) announced her intention to win the 2015 SPAR Grand Prix title.
On Sunday, she accomplished this when she won the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Club in 35.08 minutes, to add to her victory in Durban, and her podium finishes in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

The top 3 finishers of the SPAR Women’s 10km Joburg challenge pictured from left Rutendo Nyahora (2nd: 35:49), Lebogang Phalula (1st 35:08) and Diana-Lebo Phalula (3rd 36:22) the race run at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday was the final of five SPAR Challenge races making up the 2015 SPAR Grand Prix.

Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott

Phalula and Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) broke away from the pack almost immediately, and continued to draw away from the rest of the field as the race went on. At four kilometres, Phalula passed Nyahora and went into the lead. Nyahora finished second in 35.49 minutes.

Phalula’s twin sister and defending Grand Prix titleholder, Diana-Lebo, (Boxer) was third, in 36.22 minutes, five seconds ahead of Keneilwe Sesing (Randmark).
“I was very focused for this race,” said Lebogang Phalula.

“I knew the others would push me but I just wanted to go for it. I was running with Rutendo at the beginning, but decided to push ahead from four kilometres.
“They have changed the route and I really liked the route today, so I was comfortable throughout the race.”

Lebogang said she was very grateful to the sponsors for the Challenge races, which provided a great motivation for road runners.
“I also want to thank my sister, because she pushed me to get up and train, when I just wanted to stay in bed.”
Zimbabwean Nyahora said she was very happy with her performance.

“I have had a very good year, and I am very proud that I finished in the top three in all the SPAR races this year.”
Diana-Lebo, who was the first South African home in the Cape Town marathon three weeks ago, said her main ambition today had been to achieve a podium finish.
The Phalula sisters said their focus for the next year would be doing well in the 2016 Challenge series, but they have also set their sights on qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Lebogang is aiming to qualify for the 1500m, while Diana-Lebo said she still had to sit down with her coaching team and decide whether to focus on track running or try to qualify for the marathon.

Former Grand Prix winner Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank), who gave birth by caesarean section five weeks ago, surprised everyone, including herself, by finishing in 11th place.
“I only started running again this week, so I am very proud of myself,” she said.

“But next year, I am going to be going all out to start winning the Challenge races again, and I also want to qualify for the Olympic Games in the 1000m,” she said.
There was a record entry of 13,358 runners for the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run.


SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge promises to be fun-filled winner
Johannesburg, South Africa- The waiting is over, and it’s all systems go for the 2015 SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club on Sunday.

Lyle Anthony

Picture credits: Quartier Entertainment

We want you to really enjoy your day, so our advice is to get there early.
With 15 000 people taking part, parking will be at a premium. Secure paid parking will be available at Fairways Primary School in Irene Road, the Wanderers Rugby Club field adjacent to the Wanderers Stadium, the Wanderers Golf Course in Rudd Road, St Vincent’s School for the Deaf in Jellicoe Avenue and at 35 Kernick Road. Please note that NO parking is allowed at the James and Ethel Gray Park in Atholl Oaklands or at the RH Henderson Park in Birdhaven.
There will be road closures around the Wanderers with Corlett Drive from Rudd Road to Atholl Oaklands closed between 6am and 8.30. Various sections of Oxford Road, Riviera Road, River Street, Fifth Avenue, North Street and Venus Street will be closed from 5am to 11am.
Arnold Geerdts will once again be the MC at the start of the race. Arnie has done it for a number of years and knows exactly how to get people going as they wait for the start.
Very hot weather has been forecast for Sunday, so make sure your clothes are cool and comfortable, that you use plenty of sunblock and keep well hydrated by visiting the water points along the way.
There is plenty going on around the race to keep you entertained and happy throughout the morning. There is a free kiddies area, with jumping castles, colouring-in, an obstacle course, and SPAR characters. Although there are child minders, SPAR does not take responsibility for your children.
Entertainment will be provided by Coca Cola Popstar winner Lyle Anthony. The talented 25-year-old is always a popular draw, with his soft tones and massive range, and he is likely to be a hit with the thousands of women waiting for the prize giving at 10 o’clock.
There will be lucky draws for massive prizes, including a Nissan Micra and generous SPAR Vouchers, but remember, you have to be there to win one of these prizes. You won’t need to go hungry while you wait – food and drink vendors around the cricket field will see to that.
The designated charity for the race is Reach for Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer. Reach for Recovery will have a stall at the venue, so show them your support by buying something there.
For the first time, participants will be able to recognise a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer by placing a message on one of the two Trees of Hope at the finish. The messages will later be posted on the race’s Facebook page.
So if you want to enjoy your day on Sunday, get there early, dress comfortably, drink lots of water and use lots of sunblock, but most of all – have fun!
You can still enter the race on Sunday by going to enter at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Saturday 10 October from 10h00 to 16h00 or at the crack of dawn on race day before 07h00.


Johannesburg, South Africa- Did you forget to enter the SPAR Women’s 10km race at the Wanderers Club on Sunday?
Have no fear – while pre-entries closed last week, you can still enter the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run. Entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and before the race on Sunday morning.

The is still time to enter Joburg’s most beautiful road race the SPAR Women’s Challenge. The challenge to be held on Sunday morning 11 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club will comprise of a 10km race and 5km fun run to enter. Collect your entry forms from your local SPAR Store and drop it off at the Wanderers Stadium between 10h00am and 16h00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8 to 10 October 2015. Entry forms will also be available at the Wanderers. Pictured from left to right Featherbrooke KWIKSPAR are cashiers Lesego Moliki, Ofentse Mogale With Gerhard Naude (Store Manager).

Picture credits: BLD Communications.

The registration facilities will be open from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 6 to 7.30am on Sunday morning.
The 10km Challenge is open to all females over the age of 15. Men wanting to take part must dress in drag, as the SPAR races are all about women.
The 5km Fun Run is open to females over the age of nine, and is an ideal opportunity for some mother and daughter special time together.
It has been very hot for the past few days, and Sunday is expected to be no different, with the temperature predicted to be in the high 20s, so it is important that you wear cool, comfortable clothing, a protective hat and are well armed with sunblock. There are water stations along the route and runners and walkers are advised to keep themselves well hydrated.


Strand, South Africa - The seeds for this week’s Tennis South Africa Junior Tennis Masters tournament were announced by Tennis South Africa (TSA) today (Wednesday).
The tournament will be played at the Strand Tennis Club from Thursday 8 October with the finals being played on Sunday 11 October.
The top sixteen boy and girl players in the under 12, 14 16 and 18 age groups (with the girls under 18 having the top six players in their group) will battle over four days from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 October for title honours.

The seeds are as follows;
1-Kholo Montsi (GN), 2-Connor Kruger (GN), 3-Peter Scott (GC), 4-Devin Badenhorst(GN).

1-Philip Henning (FS), 2-Pierre Malan (WP), 3-Joubert Klopper (FS), 4-Victor Putter (GN).

1-Bertus Kruger (GC), 2-Jordan Sauer (GN), 3-Sipho Montsi (GN), 4-Rossouw Norval (Bol).

1-Timothy Dollman (WP), 2-Calvin Jordaan (WP), 3-Michael Copeland (GC), 4-Joshua Howard-Tripp (GE).

1-Christine Kruger (FS), 2-Alta Brink (Bol), 3-Maretha Burger (Bol), 4-Maria Mostert (FS).

1-Myah Petchey (WP), 2-Delien Kleinhans (FS), 3-Bianca Wolmarans (Bol), 4-Carmen Fichardt (FS).

1-Minette Van Vreden (Bol), 2-Maxine Bateman (KZN), 3-Corin De Waal (Bol), 4-Maja Gledic (GC).

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