SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIS PLAYERS AWARDED ITF GRANTS

Johannesburg, South Africa – The Grand Slam Development Fund Committee (GSDF) has awarded a travel grant to South African Fed Cup squad member Ilze Hattingh and Junior player Zani Barnard both of Pretoria.

Ilze Hattingh

Zani Barnard

Picture credit: BLD Communications


The grant will see Hattingh, regarded as one of the country’s top future prospects, competing in tournaments in North Africa and South America from 26 January 2016 to 5 April 2016. Barnard will be for top tournaments on the international junior circuit in the USA and Australia from 30 November 2015 including the Australian Open Junior Championships in January next year.

Hattigh who competed in the recent Digicall futures series in Stellenbosch said “I am very happy to have been awarded the travel grant by the GSDF. As a tennis player you travel a lot and traveling can be very expensive, this grant will give me much needed financial help.”

Gavin Crookes, President and Acting CEO of Tennis South Africa said “ We congratulate Ilze Hattingh and Zani Barnard on being awarded travel grants by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Grand Slam Development Fund. This is due recognition for South Africa’s up and coming junior stars and suitable reward for their dedication to and many hours of hard training. The exposure that they will receive to top class international tennis will undoubtedly assist in raising their game to new levels which in turn bodes well for their tennis careers. We wish them well and assure them of our support.”

Hattingh will play in the following women’s events:

• 26 Jan- 1 Feb 2016: Futures, Tunisia $10,000
• 02 - 08 Feb 2016: Futures, Tunisia $10,000
• 09 - 15 Feb 2016: Futures, Tunisia $10,000
• 23 Feb – 01 Mar 2016: Futures, Brazil $25,000
• 02 - 08 Mar 2016: Futures, Brazil $25,000
• 09 - 15 Mar 2016: Futures, Brazil $10,000
• 23 - 29 Mar 2016: Futures, Brazil $10,000
• 30 Mar – 05 Apr 2016: Futures, Brazil $10,000

Barnard will play in the following events:

• 30 Nov – 06 Dec 2015: Eddie Herr International Tennis Championship, USA (G1)
• 07 – 13 December 2015: Metropolia Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship, USA (GA)
• January 2016: AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International, Australia (G1)
• January 2016: Australian Open Junior Championships, (GA)


ONDRUSKA APPOINTED DAVIS CUP CAPTAIN, GRAINGER RETAINED AS FED CUP CAPTAIN

Johannesburg, South Africa - Former top South African player Marcos Ondruska has been named Davis Cup captain, Tennis South Africa (TSA) has announced.
Ondruska, 42, has been engaged for the next two years.
Earl Grainger, who has held the position for the last two years, has been retained as captain of the Fed Cup team. Grainger also stepped in as caretaker manager of the Davis Cup team following the resignation of John-Laffnie de Jager.
“We are greatly appreciative of the work Earl has done for us over the past couple of years and the dedication he has shown,” said TSA CEO Gavin Crookes.
“However, we decided to split the two positions again and having somebody with Marcos’s record and experience at the highest level of the game applying for the position the decision was made a lot easier to make.
“He applied for the job and we have appointed him for 2016 and 2017. I am delighted Marcos has accepted the position.”
Ondruska says he is extremely excited to take over as Davis Cup captain. “Davis Cup is something close to my heart and something I have a passion for. It is a team event in a sport that is played almost exclusively alone, which provides a great opportunity to learn. Just as I learned from my former Davis Cup coaches in real-time lessons that helped me grow as a player, I would like to pass on what I learned to the younger guys.
“My years as a Davis Cup player have given me the experience to understand the format, be comfortable with it, and guide the players when things get close and the tie is on the line. I was fortunate enough to have played in numerous 2-2 matches and was successful in a lot of them.
“I am also looking to provide a United States base for our South African Players at the Van Der Meer academy. This is the next logical step for players who have collected enough points and have a start on the ATP rankings. There are numerous futures and challengers within driving distance from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
“Wayne Ferreira is also based here and we would like to ensure that all the players’ games are improving and getting to that next level even while on tour. This provides a functional and affordable option that should ensure the players’ individual success, and also help the Davis Cup success in tandem,” said Ondruska.
Ondruska, who was ranked as high as No 27 in the world, had a record of 13 wins and nine losses in Davis Cup and played along Wayne Ferreira and Grant Stafford. However, he was always known as the man for the big occasion. One of the highlights of his career was when South Africa played Austria in Johannesburg in 1996 and with the tie level at 2-2, the Austrians pulled in world no 19 Gilbert Schaller to play the deciding rubber, claiming their selected player, Wolfgang Schranz, was injured.
The move backfired as Ondruska saw off the Austrian in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-2.
He did the same against Australia at Westridge Park in Durban with a team comprising Pat Rafter, Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge. With the tie all square at 2-2, Ondruska had to beat Mark Woodforde and that is exactly what he did.
Ondruska had wins over a number of top 10 players including Michael Chang, Michael Stich and Goran Ivanisevic. He also reached the doubles semi-final of Australian Open in 1993 with John-Laffnie de Jager.
He will be assisted by two consultants, one being former ATP and Davis Cup player Jeff Coetzee and the second to be announced later, in an effort to build a team for the future. “I was fortunate enough to watch some of our young stars in action in Stellenbosch, and think that there is a lot of potential and an exciting future ahead for tennis in South Africa,” said Ondruska.

Grainger has had excellent results with the Fed Cup team and as a result of his efforts South Africa will compete in Europe/Africa Zone Group I for the first time since 2006 after winning promotion from Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2015.
South Africa defeated Finland 2-0 in the promotion play-offs to book their place in Zone Group I. The South Africans were undefeated through three ties in the round-robin stages of the event in Tallinn, with Chani Scheepers going a perfect 4-0 in singles as well as teaming up with Chanel Simmonds to win a decisive doubles against Estonia.
The two consultants will be Allan Karam and Natalie Grandin.

Grainger said he was proud to have been appointed Fed Cup coach once again. “I am honoured that TSA have belief in me as coach and my aim and objective is to continue on the road to success like we did this year. “ Grainger warned though that the task would be a greater challenge with the retirement earlier this year of South Africa’s top ranked women’s player Chani Scheepers. “We will miss Chani and her vast experience. Chani played a vital role in the promotion this year to Euro/Africa Group1. But on the flip side we have a talented crop of juniors, hungry to represent South Africa coming through the ranks. It’s going to be a challenge remaining in Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 but that’s my aim and objective next year.”

Ondruska’s first outing as captain will be against Luxembourg from 04 to 06, March 2016 at home in South Africa (venue still to be announced) whilst Grainger will lead his Fed Cup team in the Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 tournament in Eilat, Israel from 3 to 6, February, 2016.


VICTORY FOR LLOYD HARRIS IN STELLENBOSCH

Stellenbosch, South Africa – One of the brightest prospects in South African tennis, eighteen year old Lloyd Harris proved that he is a rising star in Stellenbosch on Sunday.

Fourth seed South African Lloyd Harris in the finals of the Digicall Futures 3 on Sunday. Harris upset third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria 6-2 6-1 in Coetzenburg at the University Stellenbosch to win the title.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


The Cape Town based junior captured the Digicall Futures 3 singles title played in Coetzenburg, at the University of Stellenbosch without dropping a set all tournament.

Harris seeded four was on a mission and wasted no time in the finals much to the approval of the local fans upsetting third seed Lucas Miedler in just fifty two minutes 6-2 6-1 to claim victory.

“I was more confident on court today and that made a major difference. I stuck to my game plan of playing aggressive with my forehand. After having played Lucas in the Digicall Futures 2 finals last weekend and observing his game during the week my coach and I devised a game plan that I stuck to today and it worked out very well for me.” said Harris.

This was Harris’ fourth Futures win this year. “This year has been pretty good so far this is my fourth Futures title of 2015 the first in Mozambique then Zimbabwe followed by a win in Egypt. I must say this win was the best, having the majority of the spectators routing for you is priceless. I was definitely more confident in today’s final no doubt about that. There is nothing like playing at home and having family and friends support you and people today really came out.” added Harris.

To end this year’s season, Harris plans to play in two Futures events next month in Nigeria. For 2016, Harris will focus on the Challenger tour with aim to qualify for ATP tournaments.

Lloyds coach Anthony Harris was beaming with pride after his charge won in the final. “Lloyds win came from him sticking to the game plan and not panicking. He played fast and kept it consistent. Also after studying his opponents game we realized his weaknesses which are him having difficulty with balls behind him and Lloyd used that to his advantage. This is just a small step in the bigger picture of things, it is also a victory to be celebrated as it indicates we are on the right track.”

In the women’s singles final unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Britain came from a set down to upset top seeded Naomi Totka of Hungary 4-6 6-2 6-1. It was a battle that lasted an hour and forty minutes and was especially sweet for Taylor being her first Futures win.

“Losing the first set even though it was quite close made me realize I needed to up my game. I stuck to my game and made sure I wasted no points” said Taylor following victory.
“I feel extremely happy today, and finished the Digicall Futures on a great high. I lost in the quarterfinals in the first week then the semis in the second and now I won the third week and dropped only two sets in doing so!”

The men’s doubles title went to third seeded Italian duo Fabio Mercuri and Luca Pancaldi, they upset the top seeded Austrian pairing of Pascal Brunner and Lucas Miedler 6-4 4-6 10-8.
In the women’s doubles South African Fed Cup players Madrie le Roux and Ilze Hattingh gave South Africa the second title of the tournament when they shocked top seeds Katharina Hering of Germany and Naomi Totka of Hungary 6-1 7-6 (5) in the finals.


SOUTH AFRICA’S LLOYD HARRIS INTO FUTURES FINAL

Stellenbosch, South Africa – The South African crowd had good reason to be in high spirits on Saturday at the Digicall Futures 3 being played in Coetzenburg, at the University of Stellenbosch.
The reason was that their “homeboy” Lloyd Harris of Cape Town won through to Sundays’ final in the men’s singles.

Lloyd/Lloyd1: Fourth seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 3 on Saturday. Harris beat unseeded Lucas Catarina of Monaco 6-4 6-2 in the semifinals and will face third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria in the finals on Sunday in Coetzenburg at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture Credit: BLD Communications


After a rain delayed start, fourth seed Harris was never troubled in his semifinal against unseeded Lucas Catarina of Monaco winning 6-4 6-2.

“Lucas plays a very different game to what I am used to, I didn’t necessarily play my best I just made sure my game was solid” said Harris following victory.

It took eighteen year old Harris one hour and twenty eight minutes to beat Catarina who has impressed throughout the three tournament Digicall Futures Series.

Harris in the finals on Sunday will go up against third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria.

The two last played in the finals of the Digicall Futures 2 last week which the Austrian won 7-6 (4) 6-1. “I have only played Lucas in last week’s finals and that did not go so well, I hope tomorrow I can get some revenge” added Harris.

In the second men’s semi-finals the two Austrian doubles partners Miedler and top seeded Pascal Brunner did battle. The two friends did not hold back against each other. Miedler however came out victorious upsetting his countryman in a three long setter 4-6 6-3 6-2 that lasted an hour and fifty minutes. “I think Pascal plays better than me, but I also have a good understanding of his game because we practice together and we are also doubles partners. I am happy to have won though and I hope in tomorrow’s final I will come out on top like in last week’s finals” said Miedler.

In the women’s singles quarterfinals top seed Hungarian, Naomi Totka had to pull out all the stops against Luisa Huber of Germany. Huber, seeded five, came out guns blazing taking the opening set 6-4. But the Germans run was short lived as Totka brought her all in the second set wining it 6-2 and then did not drop a game to eventually close out the match 4-6 6-2 6-0. Totka will face unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain on Sundays for the title.

Taylor upset eighth seeded Amelie Intert of Germany 6-4 6-1 in her semifinal.

The finals of the Digicall Futures 3 will begin at 10h00 on Sunday at the Maties Tennis Club. Entry is free and safe and secure parking is available.


LLOYD HARRIS STILL FLYING THE SOUTH AFRICAN FLAG AT TENNIS INTERNATIONAL

Stellenbosch, South Africa - If it wasn’t for 18-year-old Lloyd Harris there would be no South African flag flying above the University of Stellenbosch tennis courts this weekend. Harris remains the sole South African in the singles semi-finals of the Digicall Futures 3. The Digicall Futures 3 is the last of three Digicall Futures Series international tennis tournaments being played in Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch.

Fifth seed Luis Huber of Germany at the Digicall Futures 3. Huber upset South African third seed Ilze Hattingh 7-6 (2) 6-1 in the quarterfinals on Friday played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications

Fourth seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 3 on Friday. Harris beat unseeded Peter Goldsteiner of Austria 6-3 6-4 in the quarterfinals played at the University of Stellenbosch.


Fourth seeded Harris was the home crowd hero when he beat Austria’s Peter Goldsteiner in Friday’s quarterfinals. Harris, a Capetonian, encountered little resistance from his opponent on centre court, beating Goldsteiner 6-3 6-4 in a match that lasted five minutes short of two hours.

After Harris’ victory, there was disappointment for the local spectators when second seed Nik Scholtz, a native of Boland and a tournament favourite was sent packing his bags. Up and coming Lucas Catarina of Monaco, unseeded, was responsible for the upset win over 24 year old Scholtz recording a surprisingly easy 6-1 6-4 victory in one hour and fourteen minutes

Scholtz will for sure like to forget the loss quickly as he made too many unforced errors throughout. His frustration was evident in his inability to play with any rhythm and his suspect forehand troubled Scholtz with his usual big serve not being on song throughout the match.

Catarina will now play Harris on Saturday in the semifinals.

In the top half of the draw, top seed Pascal Brunner of Austria had little trouble in ousting eighth seed Luca Pancaldi of Italy 6-2 6-4. Brunner in the semifinals will do battle with fellow countryman and third seed Lucas Miedler.

Miedler beat fifth seed Javier Pulgar-Garcia of Germany 6-4 6-1 in his quarterfinal.

In the women’s singles the remaining two South Africans in the draw, Madrie Le Roux and Ilze Hattingh both lost on Friday. Le Roux the sixth seed bowed out to top-seed Naomi Totka of Hungary whilst Hattingh was upset by fifth seed, Marie Huber of Germany.

Le Roux went down fighting hard, with the top seed needing two hours and forty eight minutes to beat the South African Fed Cup player 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4. After dominating the opening set, Le Roux squandered a number of opportunities to close out the match in the second set. The final set was also a close one but the top seed proved she was just stronger and more composed on the day for Le Roux.
Hattingh, like her doubles partner Le Roux, started well against the fifth seed Huber of Germany but in the second set the German took control and lost only one game in that set securing victory and her spot in the Saturday semifinals.
Huber, a finalist in the Digicall Futures 1 now meets Totka for a place in the final.

In the other women’s quarterfinals unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Britain continued her winning streak beating Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe 6-3 1-6 6-1. Taylor in Saturday’s semifinals will face eighth seed Amelie Intert of Germany who beat unseeded Nicole Rottmann of Austria 1-6 7-5 7-6 (4).


DETERMINED MADRIE LE ROUX ON A TENNIS MISSION

Stellenbosch, South Africa - South Africa’s Madrie le Roux is determined to reach the final of the Digicall Futures 3 international tennis tournament being played in Coetzenburg at the University of Stellenbosch.

Third seed Ilze Hattingh of South Africa in action during the second round played on Thursday. Hattingh beat unseeded Sophia Bursulaya of USA 4-6 6-4 6-0 in the Digicall Futures 3 played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Second seed Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 3 on Thursday. Scholtz beat unseeded Dekel Bar of Israel 4-6 6-4 6-4 in the third round played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Sixth-seeded Le Roux secured her place in Friday’s quarter-finals when she overcame a second set scare to beat China’s Huijie Hu 6-1 7-5.
“I started very well, in the first set but had a bad run on the second. I had no time to study my opponents game I just focused on my own. I think my serve was on target and overall was pleased with how I played out there today.” Le Roux said.

Le Roux sees it as a big bonus playing international tennis in South Africa. “It’s so nice being in South Africa playing international competition, and especially playing in Stellenbosch one of the country’s most beautiful and charming areas. The courts are in excellent condition, the tennis has been of good standard and to play in front of home town fans is fabulous. We South African players are grateful to the sponsors, organisers and promoters who initiated and supported this Digicall tournament series in our own backyard.”

Le Roux has her eye on in the final after losing the first week in the semifinals and only managing to get to the quarterfinals last week.
“I have played very good tennis in the past few weeks, but each time I’ve lost badly. This week, I hope that I will get to the final and take the title home.”

In the quarterfinals, Le Roux will have to pull out all the stops when she comes up against tournament favourite Naomi Totka of Hungary, who dominated Yijia Shao of China 6-3 6-3.

Joining Le Roux in the last eight is doubles partner and fellow countrywoman Ilze Hattingh. Hattingh seeded three beat unseeded American Sophia Bursulaya (USA) 4-6 6-4 6-0. Hattingh will now play German fifth seed Luis Marie Huber.

The other women to qualify for the last eight are German Amelie Intert seeded five as well as Nicole Rottmann of Austria, Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe, Gabriella Taylor of Britain all unseeded.

In the men’s singles, local hopeful Lloyd Harris won through to the quarter-finals after his opponent David Forchap of Germany had to retire from an arm injury. Harris, the fourth seed, was up a break of serve leading 4-2 in the first set when Forchap threw in the towel.
But seventh seed Keith-Patrick Crowley was unable to join his countryman Harris in Friday’s quarterfinals. Crowley was shocked by Austria’s Peter Goldsteiner who beat Crowley easily 6-1 6-1 in a match that lasted only an hour and eight minutes. Goldsteiner will now go up against Lloyd Harris for a semifinal berth.
Nik Scholtz of South Africa was once again extended to three sets. Scholtz, seeded second struggled past Dekel Bar of Israel 4-6 6-4 6-4. On Friday Scholtz will come up against unseeded Lucas Catarina of Monaco.

Joining Scholtz and Goldstein in the quarterfinals are Austria’s Pascal Brunner and Lucas Miedler seeded one and three respectively, fifth seed Javier Pulgar-Garcia of Germany and eighth seed Luca Pancaldi of Italy.


SEEDED SOUTH AFRICANS IMPRESS IN STELLENBOSCH

Stellenbosch, South Africa - All five seeded South Africans are through to the second round of the Digicall Futures 3 being played in Stellenbosch.

Sixth seed Madrie Le Roux of South Africa in action on Wednesday. Le Roux beat fellow South African Louise-Mare Botes 6-2 6-0 in the first round of the Digicall Futures 3 played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications

Seventh seed Keith-Patrick Crowley of South Africa at the University of Stellenbosch in the Digicall Futures 3. Crowley beat unseeded James Clow also of South Africa 6-2 6-1 during the first round on Wednesday.


The tournament is the third and last of the Digicall Futures series hosted at the University courts in Coetzenburg.

Second seed South African Nik Scholtz needed more than three hours to beat Sebastian Prechtel of Germany 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7). Scholtz a local Boland favorite, gave the home town fans some anxious moments.
After winning the opening set, Scholtz was broken early in the second set by the feisty German who held on to level matters.
In a nerve wrecking third set the unseeded German, squandered several chances but the 24 year old South African remained consistent forcing the set to a tie breaker which Scholtz won and earned his spot in Thursdays second round.

Meanwhile fourth seeded South African Lloyd Harris had a much easier path to round two when he beat compatriot John Myburgh 6-2 6-4

Seventh seeded Keith-Patrick Crowley a Capetonian, like Harris made easy work of qualifier James Clow also of South Africa winning 6-2 6-1.

In the women’s singles sixth seeded Madri le Roux lost only two games in her all South Africa encounter against Louise Mare Botes winning 6-2 6-0.
Le Roux joined in the second round her third seeded doubles partner Ilze Hattingh of Pretoria who played her first round on Wednesday.

In the biggest upset of the day Digicall Futures 1 singles winner Lesedi Jacobs of Namibia was surprised by Austrian Nicole Rottmann.
Rottmann beat Jacobs 6-2 6-4 and will now play fourth seeded Katharina Hering of Germany in round two on Thursday.


TOP SEEDS WIN THROUGH ON OPENING DAY OF DIGICALL FUTURES 3

Stellenbosch, South Africa - Fed Cup player, Ilze Hattingh was the first South African to enter the second round of the Digicall Futures 3 which started in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
Hattingh seeded 3 struggled in the opening set but ended solidly in beating fellow South African Huibre-Mare Botes 6-4 6-0.

Ilze Hattingh of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 3 on Tuesday. Hattingh beat fellow South African Huibre-Mare Botes 6-4 6-0 in the first round at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Botes broke serve in the opening game of the match but Hattingh promptly broke back and then broke her opponents serve again in the fourth game and raced to a 5-3 lead.
But Botes wasn’t going to give up the fight easy. She broke Hattingh in the ninth game to trail 4-5. But the fight was short lived. Hattingh broke back to win the set 6-4 and didn’t lose a game after that in closing out the match.

Top seeded Naomi Totka of Hungary who is in the same half of the draw as Hattingh also opened her tournament campaign on a winning note beating Erika Vogelsang of Netherlands 6-3 6-3

In the bottom half of the women’s draw second seed Francesca Stephenson of Britain was shocked by unseeded compatriot Gabriella Taylor.
Taylor, who reached the semi-finals of last week’s Digicall Futures 2 beat Stephenson 6-3 6-4.

In the men’s singles, top seed Pascal Brunner of Austria battled in the opening round against fiery Italian Fabio Mercuri. The Austrian overcame a strong challenge from his Italian opponent finally winning 7-5 7-6 (4).
However sixth seed Brit, James Marsalek was forced to retire due to injury against Lucas Catarina of Monaco.

South Africa’s Nik Scholtz and Lloyd Harris, seeded 2 and 4 respectively will open their campaign on Wednesday as will sixth women’s seed Madrie le Roux also of South Africa.


SEEDS AND WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED FOR DIGICALL FUTURES 3

Stellenbosch, South Africa – Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced the seeds for the Digicall Futures 3 on Monday (today).

Top women’s seed Naomi Totka of Hungary.

Top men’s seed Pascal Brunner of Austria.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


The Digicall Futures 3, to be played in Stellenbosch from Tuesday 17 November with the final played on Sunday 22 November at the Maties Tennis Club on the University of Stellenbosch sporting grounds will be the final of three tournaments in the Digicall Futures Series. The Digicall Futures 1 was played from 3 - 8 November with the men’s singles title going to South African Nik Scholtz and the womens title was won by Namibia’s Lesedi Jacobs. The Digicall Futures 2 was played from 10 – 15 November, where Austrian Lucas won the men’s singles and Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhunu the women’s singles.

The qualifying rounds for this week’s event was played from Saturday 14 November with the final qualifying ending today (Monday). The Digicall Futures 3 sees players from 12 different countries taking part with both the men’s and the women’s 32 player draws.

The men’s seeds are led by Pascal Brunner of Austria who is currently ranked 396 on the ATP World Tour Rankings. Brunner led the seeding in the Digicall Futures 1 where he reached the finals and the Digicall Futures 2 where he reached the semifinals.
Brunners is seeded to meet South African Davis Cup player Nik Scholtz in the final. Capetonian and rising South African star who is in his last year as a junior, Lloyd Harris is seeded fourth. Scholtz and Harris are ranked 414 and 492 respectively.
The only other South African man to make the men’s seeding’s is Keith-Patrick Crowley, also from Cape Town, who is seeded 7.

Hungarian Naomi Totka who is top seed in this week’s Digicall Futures 3 was also the top women’s seed in the Digicall Futures 1 and 2 events. Totka is currently ranked 395 on the WTA Rankings and was winner of the Egypt Futures in April this year. Totka reached the quarterfinals of the Digicall Futures 1 and 2 tournaments.
Seeded to meet Totka in next Sunday’s final is Francesca Stephenson of Great Britain who is currently ranked 605.
Two South African women have made the women’s seeding’s. South African Fed Cup squad member Ilze Hattingh is seeded 3 and Madrie Le Roux is seeded 6. Both are ranked 693 and 747 respectively on the WTA Rankings.

The seeds were announced as follows;

Men:
1. Pascal Brunner (Aut)
2. Nik Scholtz (RSA)
3. Lucas Miedler (Aut)
4. Lloyd Harris (RSA)
5. Javier Pulgar-Garcia (Esp)
6. James Marsalek (GBR)
7. Keith-Patrick Crowley (RSA)
8. Luca Pancaldi (Ita)

Women:
1. Naomi Totka (Hun)
2. Francesca Stephenson (GBR)
3. Ilze Hattingh (RSA)
4. Katharina Hering (Ger)
5. Luisa Marie Huber (Ger)
6. Madrie Le Roux (RSA)
7. Alexandra Riley (USA)
8. Amelie Intert (Ger)

The wildcards were announced as follows;

Men;
Wesley Whitehouse (NZL)
Rossouw Norval (RSA)
Yaseen Ibrahim (RSA)
Lance-Pierre Du Toit (RSA)

Women;
Shannon Cox (RSA)
Lesedi Jacobs (Nam)
Ciney Bekker (RSA)
Corin De Waal (RSA)


LLOYD HARRIS STUMBLES IN DIGICALL FUTURES 2 FINAL HURDLE

Stellenbosch, South Africa – South Africa’s last hope in the Digicall Futures 2 finals, Lloyd Harris failed to capture the men’s singles title on Sunday.

Third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria in action at the Digicall Futures 2 finals on Sunday. Miedler beat South African and fourth seed Lloyd Harris 7-6 (4) 6-1 to take the title at the University of Stellenbosch.

Unseeded Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe in action on Sunday at the Digicall Futures 2. Bhunu upset sixth seed Katharina Hering of Germany 6-4 6-0 in the finals played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


Fourth seed Harris from Cape Town was stopped in the final by third seeded Austrian, Lucas Miedler.
Miedler aged 19 beat the 18 year old South African 7-6 (4) 6-1 to capture the Digicall Futures 2 title at the University of Stellenbosch courts. It was the first time the two had met on court.

Despite Harris breaking Miedler’s serve in the third game of the opening set, he wasn’t able to hold out as Miedler broke back a game later. The opening set went into the tie breaker which the Austrian won 7-4. Meidler dominated the second set losing only one game in securing victory.

Miedler, ranked 465 in world tennis gave credit to Harris following victory. “Lloyd is a very tough player and in the first set he broke me, but I managed to break back and keep my composure to take the title. Harris plays a big game and has a bright future.”

A visibly disappointed Harris, who dropped only one set in reaching the final was hoping to win his fourth Futures title. “I started off very well I believe but my opponent is just as much a fighter as I am” said Harris. “It was close in the first set and I didn’t capitalize on the early break so yes I am disappointed but all in all it was a good week” said Harris who this week is ranked 500.

In the women’s singles final, unseeded Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe continued her giant killing run to win her maiden Futures title. Bhunu who upset the fifth and seventh seed en route to the final, needed an hour and thirteen minutes to upset sixth seeded Katharina Hering of Germany 6-4 6-0 to lift the title.

“I started out very nervous, in the first set she made me work for every point but I kept on my game plan. She changed her strategy in the second set but that worked better for me and I don’t think she realized that” said Bhunu.

In the men’s doubles, Lucan Miedler won the double when he teamed up with fellow countryman Pascal Brunner to win the title. Miedler and Pascal, seeded one beat unseeded Peter Goldsteiner of Austria and Quentin Robert of Reunion 6-4 6-2.

The women’s doubles title was won by the second seed team of Francesca Stephenson of Great Britain and Erika Vogelsang of the Netherlands who beat third seeded South African’s Ilze Hattingh and Madrie Le Roux 6-4 6-4.

The third and final tournament of the Digicall Futures Series will be played next week from Tuesday to Sunday at the Maties Tennis Club, University of Stellenbosch.


LLOYD HARRIS SHOCKS TOP SEED TO REACH DIGICALL FUTURESFINAL

Stellenbosch, South Africa – The future is looking bright for up and coming South African tennis star Lloyd Harris. Harris, enjoying his last year as a junior remained the only South African through to the singles finals of the Digicall Futures 2 being played in Stellenbosch. In Saturday’s semi-finals shocked the top seed Pascal Brunner of Austria 7-5 6-3 to reach Sunday’s final.

Fourth seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action in the semi-finals of the Digicall Futures 2. Harris upset top seed Pascal Brunner of Austria 7-5 6-3 on Saturday and will now face third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria in the finals on Sunday at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Harris, the fourth seed, needed an hour and forty minutes to upset the top seed. “It’s a great feeling to win through in the semifinals especially against the favourite of the tournament. I had never played Pascal before but had seen his matches during the week” said Harris following victory.
In the finals Harris will go up against the third seeded Austrian Lucas Miedler. Miedler spoilt the chances of an all-South African final when he toppled second seed Nik Scholtz 6-4 6-3.
“It will be the first time going up against Lucas, I remember him from the juniors circuit, where at one point he was in the top 20 in the world so he is a very strong player also having beat Nik today I am expecting a real tough match” admitted Harris.

It was an unfortunately loss for Scholtz, who won the first Digicall Futures title last Sunday. A week ago to the day, Scholtz ironically beat Miedler in three sets to reach the Digicall Futures 1 final but today (Saturday) Miedler got sweet revenge.

“I went in today’s match very well prepared, I felt that last week I made many unnecessary errors and I was not going to repeat them this week.” said Miedler.
“Nik is a very strong player with a very big server. I noticed also that Lloyd Harris has a similar serve but we will have to wait and see tomorrow in the finals. Regardless I will be prepared for whatever Lloyd is going to throw my way.”

In the women’s semi-final’s Zimbabwe’s Velaria Bhunu continued in her winning streak and upsetting seeded opponents en route to the final. Bhunu, ranked a low 1011 on the world rankings is having the tennis week of her life. The unseeded Zimbabwean came from a set down to upset the seventh seed German, Luisa Huber 3-6 6-4 7-5 to reach Sundays final.
In Friday’s quarterfinals Bhunu upset fifth seeded American Jaeda Daniel in a three setter thriller and Saturday’s semifinals it was no different. “I was a set down and began to feel anxious, Luisa is a powerful player who makes it look so easy” said Bhunu. “After the first set I made it a point that I make every point count.”
Bhunu will now meet sixth seeded Katharina Hering of Germany for the title. Hering beat unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain 3-6 6-4 6-2.


HARRIS AND SCHOLTZ THROUGH TO DIGICALL FUTURESSEMIFINALS

Stellenbosch, South Africa – South African Davis Cup star, Nik Scholtz is on track to win his second Digicall Futures title in two weeks.

Second seed South African Nik Scholtz in action at the Digicall Futures 2. Scholtz beat fifth seed Javier Pulgar-Garcia of Spain 6-4 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinals on Friday at the University of Stellenbosch.

Fourth seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 2 on Friday. Harris beat unseeded Bernd Kossler of Austria 6-1 5-7 7-5 in the quarterfinals played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Scholtz secured his spot together with 18-year-old fellow South African Lloyd Harris in the semifinals of the Digicall Futures 2 international tennis tournament being played in Stellenbosch on Friday.

Second seeded Scholtz in the quarterfinals had to fight hard to beat Spaniard Javier Pulgar Garcia 6-4 7-6. The temperamental Spaniard was given a warning for his behavior on court and admitted after defeat that his temper brought him down. “I used the Garcia’s temper to my advantage on court today advantage, because it is one of the few weaknesses about Garcia” said Scholtz.

The fourth-seeded Harris started strongly in his match against the young Austrian Bernd Kossler winning the opening set 6-1. But Kossler came back strong in the second set to clinch it 5-7 but Harris dug deep and kept his composure in the final set finally winning it 7-5 and securing his spot in Saturday’s semifinal.

Harris’s semifinals match against top seed Brunner should be very interesting. Brunner has had an easy week, not dropping a set but the inform Harris should provide the biggest challenge to the tournament favourite on Saturday. Nik Scholtz will go up against the third seed Lucas Miedler also of Austria in his semifinal.

There is a chance that there will be an all-South African men’s finals on Sunday should both win their respective matches on Saturday.

Whilst Harris and Scholtz wave the South African flag high, Madrie le Roux encountered an immovable obstacle in her opponent. Gabriella Taylor, of Great Britain in the women’s singles on Friday. Taylor beat Le Roux 7-6 (3) 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
The women’s top-seed Naomi Totka of Hungary was shocked in the biggest upset of the day by last week’s finalist Luisa Marie Huber of Germany. Huber beat Totka 4-6 6-2 6-4.

The second big upset of the day was when Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhunu sidelined fifth seed Jaeda Daniel of USA 6-3 3-6 6-3.

The other last women’s semifinalist is Germans sixth seed Katharina Hering who beat Chinas Yijia Shao 6-7 (4) 7-5 7-5. Hering will play unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain for a place in the final.


VOTE FOR BONGIWE MSOMI, MAKE HERWINNER

Vote for Bongiwe Msomi in the KZN Sports Awards, “Personality of the year.”


A DAY OF MIXED FORTUNES FOR SEEDS AT THE DIGICALL FUTURES 2

Stellenbosch, South Africa – On day three of the Digicall Futures 2 it was smooth sailing for the men’s top seeds but the women’s seeds experienced upsets during round two played at the University of Stellenbosch on Thursday.

Eighth seed South African Madrie Le Roux in at the Digicall Futures 2 on Thursday. Le Roux beat unseeded fellow South African Nelise Verster 6-2 6-1 during the second round played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain in action at the Digicall Futures 2 on Thursday. Taylor upset fourth seed Ilze Hattingh of South Africa 7-5 (5) 6-1 during the second round played at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Last week’s women’s champion Lesedi Jacobs’ winning streak came to an abrupt end when she lost to unseeded Shao Yiji of China 1-6 1-6. It just wasn’t unseeded Jacobs day and all her attempts to find the form that won her the first Digicall Futures Series title were sidelined. Jacobs seemed a bit “flat” on court but understandably so after all the tough tennis she has played over the past ten days.

South African fourth seed, Ilze Hattingh who was also one of the tournament favourites also went out in round two. Unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Britain battled in the opening set but ended a comfortable 7-6 (5) 6-1 victor over Hattingh. Taylor now comes against another South African, eighth-seeded Madrie le Roux in Fridays quarterfinals. Le Roux secured her place in the last 8 when she beat compatriot Nelise Verster 6-2 6-1.

In the men’s Nik Scholtz and Lloyd Harris continue to fly the South African flag high. Second-seeded Scholtz beat American overcame big serving Tyler Hochwalt 6-4 6-4 and on Friday will battle against fifth seed Spaniard Javier Pulgar-Garcia for a place in the semi-finals.
Harris, the fourth seed lost only two games in his domination of Austrian Peter Goldsteiner winning 6-2 6-0.

The men’s top-seed Pascal Brunner also of Austria needed only 49 minutes on court to beat South Africa’s Lloyd Segal 6-2 6-1. Brunner will go up against the eighth seeded Italian Luca Pancaldi in Fridays quarterfinals.


A FAMILY AFFAIR AS PHALULA WINS SPAR GRAND PRIX

Buitengeluk, Johannesburg- The Phalula sisters, Lebogang and Diana-Lebo, took top honours in the 2015 SPAR Grand Prix, with Lebogang the runaway winner of the award, and her twin the runner-up.

2015 SPAR Grand Prix winner Lebogang Phalula, receives her whopping cheque of R150 000.00 from SPAR Marketing Executive Mike Prentice during the SPAR GRAND PRIX AWARDS at Buitengeluk on Tuesday November 10, 2015 in Johannesburg.

Picture credits: Reg Caldecott


Lebogang has had a spectacular year on the road, notching up victory after victory. She was the star performer in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge Series, winning in Durban and Johannesburg, and finishing in the top three in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. She accumulated an impressive total of 95 points to make sure that she walked away with the prize of R150 000.
Her twin, who won the title in 2014, finished in second position, with 75 points, for prize money of R50 000. Diana-Lebo won the Grand Prix in 2014, and her sister made it clear then that she intended to win the title this year.
Another previous Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya, and Nolene Conrad finished joint third, with 67 points each, and they will take home R27 500 each. They were closely followed by Cornelia Joubert, with 65 points. Three times Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer was sixth, with 58 points, and her sister, Christine, was seventh, with 53.
Lebogang was overjoyed at winning the prestigious Grand Prix title.
“I have had to work hard to get back to the top after being suspended for using a banned substance,” she said.
“I wanted to prove that I could do it, and that I wasn’t a cheat. Winning the Grand Prix means so much to me. My sister won it last year and I decided this year was going to be my year.”
Diana-Lebo, who missed the Cape Town race because she was doing national duty at the world cross-country championships in China, said she and her sister would share their winnings.
“We have shared the car that I won last year, and we will also share our prize money. We are each other’s biggest fans, and we share everything. I am very happy for Lebogang, but I’ve told her to watch out – it’s my turn next year.”
The twins said they would focus on trying to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year. Lebogang will be aiming for the 1500 and 5000m events, while Diana-Lebo is still trying to decide whether she wants to stay on the track or aim for the marathon.
Another former Grand Prix winner, Irvette van Zyl, showed she is still a force to be reckoned with, after she finished ninth, with 39 points. Van Zyl ran three races while pregnant, and she came 11th in the Johannesburg race, only five weeks after giving birth to her son Louis.
“Next year I will be back with a vengeance,” she said.
“I want to start winning SPAR races again, and I am also going to try to qualify for the 10 000m at the Olympic Games.”
SPAR Marketing Executive Mike Prentice said the Grand Prix awards had become one of the supermarket giant’s most important sponsorships.
“The Grand Prix will be 10 years old next year, and it has gone from strength to strength.
“We are thrilled at the way the runners have responded to the series, and we are delighted that so many of the top runners and clubs try to compete in as many of the SPAR races as possible. Our Challenge races are all about the thousands of women who take to the streets every year, but the elite runners give the races credibility as major events on the road-running calendar,” said Prentice.


WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED FOR THE DIGICALL FUTURES 2

Stellenbosch, South Africa - The Wildcards for the Digicall Futures 2 were announced by Tennis South Africa (TSA) today.

The Digicall Futures 2 are the second of three consecutive tennis tournaments taking place at the Maties Tennis Sport Club at the University of Stellenbosch this month and will be played from tomorrow (Tuesday) 10 November with the finals on Sunday 15 November.

The wildcards were announced as follows:

Men:
Chevaan Davids (RSA)
Joshua Luck (RSA)
Johannes Myburgh (RSA)
Lance-Pierre Du Toit (RSA)

Women:
Louise-Mare Botes (RSA)
Huibre-Mare Botes (RSA)
Ciney Bekker (RSA)
Emanuelle de Beer (RSA)


SOUTH AFRICA’S NIK SCHOLTZ WINS DIGICALL FUTURES 1

Stellenbosch, South Africa – South African Davis Cup player, Nik Scholtz captured his seventh Futures title in Stellenbosch on Sunday.

Lesedi Jacobs of Namibia winners of the women’s singles title at the Digicall Futures 1 played in Stellenbosch at the University of Stellenbosch on Sunday.

Nik Scholtz of South Africa winner of the mens title at the Digicall Futures 1 played in Stellenbosch at the University of Stellenbosch on Sunday.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


Second seeded Scholtz upset top seeded Austrian, Pascal Brunner 7-6 (5) 7-5 in the final played at the Maties Tennis Club on the University of Stellenbosch sports grounds.

Scholtz, from the Boland pleased the hometown fans and beat the extremely hot conditions and fought hard throughout the two hours twenty three minute battle.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 24 year old. “The fact that I never gave up today, made the big difference. There were moments when I could have just let a game go, but I fought for every point because you never know. It wasn’t an easy final and we pretty much won the same amount of points I think so in the end the difference was the fact that I just kept going” said Scholtz.

In the opening set Pascal Brunner gave Scholtz a run for his money, but Scholtz kept his composure and the set went with serve until the tie breaker. The tie breaker was a battle on its own but Scholtz finally found the break to take the breaker after sixty seven minutes (7-5) to go a set up.

Scholtz found the early break in the second set and held serve to win the set 7-5 giving him the title.

“It was a good week of tennis. I had strong opponents each round. Winning is always the goal, but I knew it would be tough. I enjoyed the week of tennis. The organisation of the tournament was really good and playing a tournament where I can sleep in my own bed does not happen often so I made the most of it!” said Scholtz.

In the women’s singles final Namibia’s Lesedi Jacobs continued her giant killing run to win her maiden Futures title. The unseeded 18 year old, a wild card into the tournament, shocked fifth seed Luisa Huber of Germany 7-6 (3) 5-7 6-1.

Jacobs fought hard from the first point of the match and the fight paid off. “It was a very tough match, my opponent is also a fighter but I kept telling myself I will not let go” said Jacobs.
“The second set for the most part was an on and off, where we would alternate each point of the set.”

The Namibian junior was delighted with her first international senior title. “I am very pleased with the way things turned out, this win for me means a lot and it comes at a great time when I am making final preperations to go to US College next year. I couldn’t have imagined the week would end like this even though we all enter tournaments with the wish to win at the end.”


NIK SCHOLTZ THROUGH TO THE DIGICALL FUTURESFINAL

Stellenbosch, South Africa – South Africa will be represented in the Sunday Digicall Futures 1 finals in Stellenbosch.
Second seeded Bolander, Nik Scholtz needed two hours and thirty nine minutes to reach the men’s singles final by beating Lucas Miedler the Austrian third seed 6-7 (3) 6-1 6-2.

Unseeded Lesedi Jacobs of Namibia on Saturday in the Digicall Futures semi-finals. Jacobs upset South African and sixth seed Madrie Le Roux 1-6 6-3 6-4. Jacobs in the finals on Sunday will face Fifth seed Luisa Huber of Germany.
Scholtz:

Second seed Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action at the Digicall Futures 1 semi-finals on Saturday. Scholtz beat third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria 6-7 (3) 6-1 6-2 and will now face top seed Pascal Brunner in the finals on Sunday

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


Scholtz battled in the opening set which he lost on the tiebreaker. But that did not deter the 24 year old. Scholtz who quickly regained his composure and made easy work of his opponent dominating the second and final sets.

“It was a very tough game, my opponent is a very solid player. The game felt much longer than it actually was but the result was what I hoped for in the end. I did not have the best start having lost the opening set but as the match progressed I felt stronger and stronger” said Scholtz.

Scholtz in the final will go up against the top seed Austrian Pascal Brunner. Brunner also was extended to three sets by eighth seeded Italian, Luca Pancaldi winning his semifinal 7-5 3-6 6-3.

Brunner said he felt his match against Pancaldi was the best he had played all tournament. “It has been a very tough tournament with the weather conditions, the heat can get very intense and affects the game very much. Today I really played a great game.”
Brunner added that had not seen too much of Nik Scholtz game and had never played the tall and lanky South African. “I have not seen or played against Nik before but I got a chance in the semi-finals today and I noticed he has a big serve. As far as tomorrow is concerned we will have to wait and see.”

Scholtz said he had respect for his top seeded final opponent. “Brunner is obviously a very good player being the top seed. I have never seen him play before but I am feeling positive that I will do well.”

In the women’s semi-finals Namibia’s Lesedi Jacobs continued her giant killing run at this week’s Digicall Futures 1. The 18 year old, in her last year as a junior, caused yet another upset beating sixth seed South African Madrie Le Roux 1-6 6-3 6-4 to secured a spot in Sunday’s final.
“I’m very happy with the result especially with me losing the first set and fighting my way to a win. It has not yet all sunk in but all I’m feeling at the moment is joy! This win means a lot to me, I have played in three other Futures tournaments this year and this is the furthest I have gone” said Jacobs.

In the second women’s semi-finals, fifth seed Luisa Huber of Germany made easy work of countrywoman and eighth seed Amelie Intert. Huber beat Intert 6-4 6-2.


SCHOLTZ AND LE ROUX CARRY THE HOPES OF THE NATION

Stellenbosch, South Africa - Nik Scholtz and Madrie le Roux are the only South Africans through to the semi-finals of the Digicall Futures 1 tennis tournament.

Second seed Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action in the Digicall Futures 1 on Friday. Scholtz beat fifth seed Javier Pulgar-Garcia of Spain 6-7 (1) 6-3 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Scholtz in the semi-finals on Saturday will go up against the third seed Austria’s Lucas Miedler.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication

Unseeded Lesedi Jacobs of Namibia in action at the Digicall Futures 1 on Friday. Jacobs upset top seed Naomi Totka of Hungary 6-4 6-1 in the quarter finals. Jacobs will now face sixth seed South African Madrie le Roux in the semi-finals on Saturday.


The tournament is the first of a series of three international Futures tournaments being staged in Stellenbosch.

Scholtz performance in Thursday’s quarterfinals can be compared to that of a diesel truck taking a while to warm up, but when he started going few things could stand in his way.
The 24-year-old from Boland second seed came from behind in the opening set to force his tricky Spanish opponent Pulgar-Garcia into a tiebreaker, which Scholtz lost (7-1) to go down a set. But Scholtz regrouped, settled the nerves and took the second and third sets 6-3 6-2 in a three hour battle to secure his spot in the last four.

Scholtz will now face third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Top-seeded Austrian, Pascal Brunner side-lined seventh seed South African Keith-Patrick Crowley 6-4 6-4 and will now play eighth seed Italian Luca Pancaldi in the semi-finals.
Pancaldi eliminated 18-year-old South African rising star Lloyd Harris 4-6 6-3 6-2 in a battle that took two hours and 21 minutes.

In the women’s singles, South Africa’s Madrie Le Roux had a tough battle against Britain’s Gabriella Taylor. Le Roux however came out triumphant by winning 7-6 (3) 6-4. The sixth-seed kept her cool but will have to bring her game to a higher level if she has any hope of making Sunday’s final.

The biggest upset of the day was recorded by Namibia’s Lesedi Jacobs who shocked top women’s seed Naomi Totka 6-4 6-1. Totka of Hungary was clearly troubled by a shoulder injury, which Jacobs capitalised on.
Jacobs will now go up against Le Roux on Saturday for a place in Sunday’s final..

The second women’s semi-final will be an all-German affair with Amelie Intert seeded eight and Luisa Marie Huber seeded five doing battle..


SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIS STARS SHINE IN STELLENBOSCH

Stellenbosch, South Africa - It was a good day for seeded South Africans in the Digicall Futures 1 international tennis tournament in Stellenbosch on Thursday.

Sixth seed South African Madrie Le Roux in action in round two of the Digicall Futures 1. Le Roux beat unseeded Anne-Sophie Courteau of Canada 6-2 6-1 on Thursday.

Second seed Nik Scholtz of South Africa on Thursday at the Digicall Futures 1. Scholtz beat unseeded Wesley Whitehouse of New Zealand 7-6 (2) 6-3 in round two at the Stellenbosch University.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


In the much anticipated men’s singles second round clash, second seed Nik Scholtz of South Africa beat unseeded Wesley Whitehouse of New Zealand 7-6 (2), 6-3. Whitehouse a former South African and Junior Wimbledon Champion, started off strongly, breaking serve in the opening game and lead of 3-0 in the first set. But 24 year old Scholtz proved to be just too experienced for the former South African and he broke the big Whitehouse left handed serve twice to take the set on the tie breaker and second set 6-3. Scholtzs next opponent in the last eight will be fifth-seeded Javier Pulgar-Garcia of Spain.

18-year-old South African Lloyd Harris needed just 55 minutes to sideline his Australian opponent Stefan Vujic 6-2 6-1 and in the quarterfinals will go up against the eighth-seeded Italian Luca Pancaldi.
Pancaldi ended the fine run of South African junior Timothy Dollman winning 6-4 6-2. The Italian will have to pull out all the stops against Harris on Friday. Harris once again delivered an impressive game on court Thursday and is definitely one of the most exciting players to watch in the tournament.

Seventh seed Keith-Patrick Crowley of Cape Town beat American Collin Johns 6-3 7-6 (2) to book his place in the quarterfinals. Crowley will be hoping for another good day when he goes up against the top-seeded Pascal Brunner of Austria on Friday. Other Thursday second round winners in the men’s were; third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria and sixth seed James Marsalek of Great Britain.

The only South African woman to make it to through the second round is sixth seed Madrie le Roux, who had a convincing victory over the unseeded Canadian Annie-Sophie Courteau. Le Roux beat Courteau 6-2 6-1 and will face Britain’s Gabriella Taylor in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The other seeded women did not experience much joy in the second round. Seventh seed Alexandra Riley was upset by Namibia’s Lesedi Jacobs 1-6 2-6. Top seeded Naomi Totka of Hungary needed two and a half hours to beat Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhunu 6-3 7-5 after trailing 3-5 in the second set.
In the day’s biggest upset, China’s Dan Ni Wang shocked second seed Jasmin Jebawy of Germany 6-2 6-3.

Other Thursday second round winners in the women’s singles were fifth seed Luisa Huber and eighth seed Amelie Intert both of Germany and third seed Jaeda Daniel of USA.


WHITEHOUSE AND SCHOLTZ ON A COLLISION COURSE

Stellenbosch, South Africa - In 1997 he became the junior Wimbledon champion, Wesley Whitehouse was seen as the future of South African tennis; now some 18 years later, the 36-year-old Whitehouse now a New Zealander will go up against the face of the future of South African tennis in the second round Nik Scholtz.

Seventh seed Keith-Patrick Crowley of South Africa in action during round 1 of the Digicall Futures 1. Crowley beat unseeded fellow South African Lloyd Segal 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 on Wednesday at the University of Stellenbosch.

South African and sixth seed Madrie Le Roux on Wednesday at the Digicall Futures 1. Le Roux beat unseeded Dominique Wahl of Germany 6-0 6-1 during round 1 at the University of Stellenbosch.

Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action during round 1 of the Digicall Futures on Wednesday. Scholtz beat Daniel Tamir of Israel 7-5 6-4 at the University of Stellenbosch.

Picture credit: BLD Communications/Nceba Mbava


The second-seeded Scholtz won his first match against Israel’s Tamir Daniel 7-5, 6-4. Whitehouse booked his place in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Zimbabwe’s Mark Fynn.

The top-seeded Pascal Brunner started his campaign convincingly when he defeated local junior Rossouw Norval 6-3, 6-2 in the first round. The Austrian was deadly on court and Norval, who qualified for the tournament, had no answers for any of the strokes from Brunner. The longest match of the day was between the seventh seed Keith-Patrick Crowley who struggled against his fellow South African Lloyd Segal. Crowley needed two hours and 10 minutes to secure a win of 6-7, 6-4 6-4.
Other Wednesday first round winners in the men were; Third seed Lucas Miedler of Austria, Collin Johns of USA, Quentin Robert of Reunion Island and Dekel Bar of Israel.

In the women’s singles, the sixth seed Madrie le Roux of South Africa opened her campaign with an easy victory match against Germany’s Dominic Wahl winning 6-0, 6-1.

The only surprise of the day was when the unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Britain upset fourth seed Katharina Hering of Germany 6-2, 6-3. The women’s Tuesday first round winners were; fifth seed Luisa Huber Germany, seventh seed Alexandra Riley of USA, eighth seed Amelie Intert of Germany, Yijia Shao of China, Huijie Li of China and Dan Ni Wang also of China.


KEVIN ANDERSON NOMINATED FOR TOP ATP AWARD

South African tennis ace Kevin Anderson has been nominated by the ATP World Tour as one of twenty outstanding players of 2015. And the popular world number 12 will be needing his countries full support should he have any chance of winning the title.

Kevin Anderson signing autographs for fans at the 2014 French Open.

Picture credit: REUTERS / Jean-Paul Pelissier


Anderson was named for the ATPWorldTour.com Fan’s Favorite Awards which includes amongst others Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Gael Monfils.
The 2015 ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon recognise the outstanding players and tournaments of the Tour.

The winners of each category are decided by the fan’s through a global on line voting process.
Kevin Anderson said that he was honoured to be nominated by the fans and hopes that he would get their support through the voting process.

Voting for the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon can be done through the www.atpworldtour.com site and voting closes at 11.59pm GMT on Monday, 9 November


SOUTH AFRICA DRAW LUXEMBOURG IN 2016 DAVIS CUP

• Draw made for 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II

The Draw for the 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II competition was held at the ITF offices in London on Tuesday.

South Africa have been seeded in the Euro/Africa Zone Group II and have drawn Luxembourg at home in round 1. South Africa are ranked 56 on the Davis Cup world rankings two spots ahead of Luxembourg at 58. South Africa and Luxembourg have never met each other before in the Davis Cup.

The winner of the tie will play the winner of the Lithuania vs Norway tie in September 2016. The loser will play in the Euro/Africa Zone Group II Play-offs against the loser of the Lithuania vs Norway tie in July 2016.

The draws were made following last weekend’s Americas and Europe/Africa Zone Group I relegation play-off ties on 30 October - 1 November.

The seeds for the draw were based on the new ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 2 November.

The tie will be played from 4-6 March 2016 at a venue still to be confirmed by Tennis South Africa.

South Africa retained their Europe/Africa Zone Group II status for 2016 by romping past Ireland 5-0 at home in Centurion, Pretoria at the Irene Country Club to fend off relegation.

Luxembourg lost to Bulgaria in 2015 in a Group 1 promotion/relegation playoff to remain in Group II in 2016.

2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II

First round (4-6 March)

Lithuania [s] [c] v Norway
South Africa [s] [c] [*] v Luxembourg
Turkey [c] v Bulgaria [s]
Bosnia/Herzegovina [s] [c] [*] v Tunisia
Latvia [s] [c] v Monaco
Egypt [c] [*] v Belarus [s]
Finland [s] [c] v Zimbabwe
Georgia [c] [*] v Denmark [s]
Key
[s] = Seeded nation
[c] = Choice of ground
[*] = Choice of ground decided by lot

The home nation is listed first for each tie.


YOUNGSTERS EXCEL AT THE DIGICALL FUTURES 1

Stellenbosch, South Africa - 18-year-old Capetonian Lloyd Harris impressed on the first day of the Digicall Futures tennis tournament in Stellenbosch.

Fourth seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action during round 1 of the Digicall Futures 1 on Tuesday at the University of Stellenbosch. Harris beat unseeded fellow South African Johannes Myburgh 6-0 6-3.

Picture credit: Eunice Visagie/Outsider Communication


The tournament is the first of three international Futures tournaments being played at the university of Stellenbosch with the finals this Sunday.

Harris - a member of the South African Davis Cup Squad - is seeded fourth in the tournament. He started on track in Coetzenberg with an easy 6-0, 6-3 win over unseeded countryman John Myburgh. “It was a satisfactory start to the tournament for me. I certainly did not play my best, but I still have to get used to the courts I find that they are a little slower than what I am used to. I do not have any specific expectations for the week. I just want to play good tennis and see how far I will go. “
Harris, South Africa’s top junior player’s next opponent is Australia’s Stefan Vujic.

Another South African junior Timothy Dollman is also through to the second round after impressively defeating fellow South African Yaseen Ibrahim in three sets 7-6, 3-6 and 6-3. Dollman was a finalist in the two Curro Junior ITF Tournaments played at the same venue in the over the last two weeks.
Other Tuesday first round winners in the men were; fifth seed Javier Pulgar-Garciaof Spain, sixth seed James Marsalek of Great Britain, eighth seed Luca Pancaldi of Italy, Stefan Vujic Australia, Sebastian Precjtel of Germany and Bernd Kossler of Austria. The women’s Tuesday first round winners were; Second seed Jasmin Jebawy of Germany, third seed Jaeda Daniel of the USA, Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe, Lesedi Jacobs Namibia, South African Alexis Tensfeldt, Anne-Sophie Courteau of Canada and Lauren McMinn Great Britain.

Wednesday sees a continuation of round 1 with several matches to look forward to. The top-seeded Pascal Brunner of Austria will go up against Stellenbosch junior and tournament qualifier Rossouw Norval.
Local fans will also be looking forward to the second seed Nik Scholtz’s match. Scholtz is a native of Boland who has over the past few years been attending college tennis in the United States for Ole Miss (University of Mississippi).
Scholtz, a squad member of the South African Davis Cup team is also a favorite to win the tournament. His opening match will be against unseeded Daniel Tamir of Israel.

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