GIANT LEAP FOR ANDERSON IN THEBIG APPLE’, NOW THE WORLD NO. 9

Johannesburg, South Africa – South Africa’s Kevin Anderson made his seeding count as the tournament No. 1 when he won the ATP New York Open with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (1) win against the No. 2 American, Sam Querry in Uniondale, New York, on Sunday.

New York Open champion, Kevin Anderson in action during the men’s singles final. Top seed, Anderson – beat 2nd Sam Querry of the United States 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) for tittle honors.

Photo credit: ATP World Tour


The title will be Anderson’s fourth career ATP title but the most significant of his career as it propels into the top 10 of the latest world rankings which was released on Monday. He has now slot in at a career-high No. 9.

Anderson’s last ATP title was in 2015 when as a wildcard – he saw off Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the final at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina, United States.

On his way to the final, Anderson overcame some testing encounters.

“Obviously, you go out there – the quicker and easier you can win, the better,” Anderson said about a few long matches in the run-up to the championship round.

“But, I think I can take a lot of confidence in the way I was able to come through those close matches. I was tested, every single match went to three sets, three of the four matches went to 7-6 in the third and I played some of my best tennis when it mattered.

I think if you can come through those matches, you can really take a lot of confidence. My body responded well, that is always a big positive.”

“I was able to keep on resetting and it was definitely a good testament to my attitude and my mindset which I work very hard on.”

Winning the New York final was rather meaning for Anderson as he already suffered 11 defeats in ATP Tour finals.

I have been runner-up quite a few times in my career. One of the big goals I had for this year was to try to be a bit more successful in that final stage,” said Anderson.

It feels great to come through and get today’s win. It gives me a lot of confidence for the year.

Definitely feels very good to clear that last hurdle and walk away with the title. I’ve had a lot of very close matches this week.

I think my body has responded very well.”

Anderson will next play the Delray Beach Open this week and will be the 3rd seed there. He opens his campaign against Evgeny Donskoy, the Russian who has a career win over world No. 1 Roger Federer (February 2017, Dubai Tennis Championships).

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SOUTH AFRICA’S KHOLO MONTSI WINS MAIDEN INTERNATIONAL TITLE

Potchefstroom, South Africa – There were two first time international title winners when the RVTA PUKKE ITF 1 junior tennis tournament was concluded on Saturday.

South Africa’s Kholo Montsi and Belgium’s Tilwith Di Girolami were crowned the boys and girls singles champions with both winning their respective finals in straight sets.

Montsi of Cape Town, seeded three - beat unseeded American, Murphy Cassone, a qualifier 6-2 7-6(1) in his final.

In hot, dry conditions, Montsi started well - breaking the strong Murphy serve in the first and fifth games and held serve throughout to win the opening set 6-2. In the second set, Murphy lifted his game, and a frustrated Montsi trailing 2-3 punched the fence after a string of unforced errors cutting his hand which resulted in a medical time out. The set went with serve until the tie breaker, which was dominated by Montsi winning it 7-1 which secured him game, set, match, and first major junior title.

“I am very happy to have won. I worked really hard for it and I’m proud of the way I played and conducted my attitude and behaviour throughout the tournament” said Montsi

15-year-old Montsi said that his game plan for the final paid off, “I told myself to hold serve and play freely and tough throughout.”

In Friday’s semi-final, Montsi caused a major upset when he beat fellow South African, second seeded, Pierre Malan impressively 6-1 6-2, “The win over Pierre was big and I told myself that I had to finish off the tournament week with title win after beating Pierre. Pierre is a good friend and training partner and the win over him gave me the added confidence I needed for the final.”

Kholo Montsi of Cape Town, South Africa in action during the boys’ finals of the RVTA Pukke ITF 1 being played at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy on the North West University Potchefstroom campus. Montsi, seeded three – beat unseeded American, Murphy Cassone 6-2 7-6(1) in Saturday’s finals.

Tilwith Di Girolami of Belgium in action during the gilrs’ finals of the RVTA Pukke ITF 1 being played at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy on the North West University Potchefstroom campus. Unseeded, Di Girolami – beat 5th seed, Maja Gledic of South Africa 6-4 6-3 in Saturday’s finals.

Photo credit: BLD Communications

In the girls singles final, Di Girolami outsmarted her South African opponent, Maja Gledic 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour 35 minutes.

It was a dream run for the 14-year-old Belgian from the city of Bree, who had to qualify for the main draw and then grind her way through as the underdog to the final. Di Girolami, part of the Belium Tennis High Performance programme at “Tennis Flanders” did not drop a set all tournament. The Beglian also beat two seeded players in sixth seeded, Angela Georgieva and fifth seeded, Maja Gledic en route to winning the title.

Di Girolami was never troubled by Gledic in the final and moved the ball short and long which clearly frustrated Gledic, a consistent player who relies on outrallying her opponents in normal circumstances, “Maja plays a slow, loopy and very consistent game so I had to move her around and bring her into the net where she isn’t comfortable to have any chance,” admitted Di Girolami.

“I am delighted and feeling great to have won my first international title here in Potchefstroom. I had to qualify which allowed me to get used to the high altitude conditions, and I used the altitude to my advantage - playing aggressively” continued Di Girolami.

The boys doubles title went to second seeded, Kholo Montsi and Robbie Arends both of Cape Town. Montsi and Arends beat unseeded Belgians Alexander Hoogmartens and Noah Martens and 6-4 6-3.

Unseeded French pairing of Margaux Komano and Helena Mohamed won the girls doubles title when they upset third seeded South African’s Megan Lombardi and Linge Steenkamp 7-6 (1) 6-2.

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SEEDS & WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED FOR SECOND POTCHEFSTROOM JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Potchefstroom, South Africa – Semi-final results of the RVTA Pukke ITF 1, an international junior world ranking tennis tournament being played at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy on the North West University Potchefstroom campus, South Africa on Friday.

RSA unless stated

Singles
Semi-finals
Boys
Murphy Cassone (USA) bt Axel Garcian (FRA) 6-3 6-2
3-Kholo Montsi bt 2-Pierre Malan 6-1 6-2

Girls
Tilwith Di Girolami (BEL) bt Kelly Arends 6-1 6-2
5-Maja Gledic bt 8-Tamsin Hart 3-6 6-3 6-4

Doubles
Semi-finals
Boys
Alexander Hoogmartens (BEL) / Noah Martens (BEL) bt Maikel De Boes (BEL) / Raynaud Vanwolleghem (BEL) 6-3 6-4
2-Robbie Arends / Kholo Montsi bt 5-Thando Longwe-Smit / Victor Putter 7-5 6-2

Girls
Margaux Komano (FRA) / Helena Mohamed (FRA) bt 1-Megan Basson / Myah Petchey 6-7(5) 6-2 10-7
3-Megan Lombardi / Linge Steenkamp bt Mika Dagan Frunchtman (ISR) / Lorin Tilipman (ISR) 6-4 7-5

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WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED FOR GROWTHPOINT TOP GUNS SUN CITY SHOOTOUT

Pretoria, South Africa – Tennis South Africa (TSA) in their ongoing commitment to the development of the game in South Africa announced two development wild-card spots for the Growthpoint Top Guns national club finals to be stayed at Sun City this weekend.

Eersterust Tennis Club (Gauteng North) and Destiny Tennis Club (Buffalo City) are the named clubs that will take the last two wild card spots in the 16 club field that will do battle at ‘Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure’ from Thursday, 16 February to Monday, 19 February.

Eesterust Tennis Club’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Wergelé McKenzie said, “We are truly honored to have received this award from Tennis South Africa as recognition of our passion for the sport and our competitive spirit. None of this would have been possible without the vision of Richard Glover and his team at TSA and the support from Gauteng North Tennis Association to grow the sport in the less developed areas. ‘Team Poort’ are excited to fly the flag for Eersterust Tennis Club and the broader Eersterust community, who have a proud and long standing Tennis heritage, with the Club having been established in 1978. Our involvement in this tournament and the exposure that comes with it will help us put Township Tennis and Eersterust Tennis Club back on the map. With Growthpoint Properties sponsoring the Top Guns, we know that this tournament is built on a solid foundation.”

The 16 teams representing all 14 tennis provinces of the country will be drawn into four Groups - each of four teams. A round-robin will be played in each Group with the Group winners qualifying for the knock-out cross over semis-finals. The finals are scheduled for Monday, 19 February.

The winning team at the national final wins R30 000 for their club, as well as a further R30 000 to be divided between the players. The losing finalists win R10 000 for their club, as well as a further R10 000 to be divided between the players.

Destiny Tennis Club chairman, Camagu Sotyelewa, added, “We really appreciate the opportunity given to our club to participate in the final leg of the Growthpoint Top Guns. We hope our players will do their level best in the final battle of this tournament. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Growthpoint Properties and Tennis South Africa for this great opportunity.”

This is the inaugural Growthpoint Top Guns club competition part of last year’s newly announced sponsorship partnership between properly giant Growthpoint and TSA aimed at rebuilding the important club tennis structures in the country.

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TOP INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR TENNIS RETURNS TO SOUTH AFRICA

Pretoria, South Africa – The Southern African swing of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tennis circuit has begun in the North West Province sporting town of Potchefstroom this week.
The four weeks of international tournaments for under 18 boys and girls will see three tournaments being staged in South Africa and one in Zimbabwe.
The first of the tournaments, the RVTA PUKKE ITF 1 is being played from 12 to 17 February at the University of North West Potchefstroom campus. This will be followed by another Grade 5 event at the same venue, the RVTA PUKKE ITF 2 being played from 19 to 24 February.
From Potchefstroom, the tour will move to the county’s capital, Pretoria, for the Brooklyn Union Axnosis ITF, a Grade 3 status tournament, to take place from 26 February to 3 March 2018
The last of the tournaments will be played in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from 5 to 10 March.
Players from 12 countries, including Belgium, Botswana, France, Great Britain, Israel, Ireland, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the United States of America have jetted in for the month long tournament swing.
These tournaments are important as they provide South Africa’s leading junior players with the opportunity to earn vital ITF junior world ranking points without having to travel out of Southern Africa.
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BIG SUN CITY SHOOTOUT THIS WEEKEND AT THE GROWTHPOINT TOP GUNS NATIONAL FINAL

Johannesburg, South Africa – Some of the best club tennis players in South Africa will take to the courts of Sun City this weekend, for the national final of the inaugural Growthpoint Top Guns.

The Growthpoint Top Guns is a national club competition launched last year by Tennis South Africa (TSA), with aim of helping to revive the heartbeat of the tennis community in the country - club tennis.

Growthpoint partnered with TSA to sponsor the event, that was played by hundreds of tennis clubs across the country, with the 14 regional winners progressing to the national finals to be played at Sun City in the North West Province from 16 – 19 February. The 14 regional winners are joined by two wild-card teams from under-serviced communities - making the tournament a 16 team showdown. The 16 teams will be drawn into four group each of four teams. A round-robin will be played in each of the four groups, with the group winners qualifying for a cross-over semi-final knock out stage

All participating teams will enjoy complimentary travel and accommodation for the weekend - courtesy of Growthpoint and TSA.

The winning team at the national final wins R30 000 for their club, as well as a further R30 000 to be divided between the players. The losing finalists win R10 000 for their club, as well as a further R10 000 to be divided between the players.

The 16 finalists for the 2017/2018 Growthpoint Top Guns national finals are confirmed as follows:
1. Boland: Strand Tennis Club.
2. Buffalo City (Border): Old Selbornian (Old Boys) Tennis Club.
3. Eastern Province: Cradock Tennis Club.
4. Eden: Wesbank Tennis Club.
5. Free State: University of the Free State Tennis Club.
6. Gauteng Central: Marks Park Tennis Club.
7. Gauteng East: Parkrand Tennis Club.
8. Gauteng North: Elarduspark Tennis Club.
9. KwaZulu-Natal: Brighton Tennis Club.
10. Limpopo: Polokwane Tennis Club.
11. Mpumalanga: Middelburg Country Club.
12. North West: Klerksdorp Tennis Club.
13. Northern Cape: Lapésa Tennis Club.
14. Western Province: Camps Bay Tennis Club.
15. Wild Card Team 1: Destiny Tennis Club (Buffalo City).
16. Wild Card Team 2: Eersterust Tennis Club (Gauteng North).

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HEARTBREAK MOMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA AS THEY LOSE DAVIS CUP TIE

Pretoria, South Africa – It was a sombre atmosphere over the Irene Country Club in Pretoria late Saturday afternoon as the KIA South Africa Davis Cup side lost to Israel in the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 1.

Credit to the visitors who came from 1-2 down to beat South Africa 3-2 which secures them a spot in Euro/Africa Group 1 in 2019.

South Africa will face either Sweden, Ukraine or Portugal in a relegation playoff in September with the winner remaining in Group 1 and the loser relegated to Group 2.

South Africa and Israel were 1-1 Saturday morning after Lloyd Harris opened up for South Africa on Friday beating Edan Leshem 7-5 6-4 followed by Dudi Sela giving Israel the equalising point when he beat Nik Scholtz in a marathon rain delayed three set battle 6-1 6-7 (1) 7-5.

In the first rubber played on Saturday, South Africa’s doubles team of Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse overcame a strong challenge from Israeli’s Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela. The South Africans came from a set down to win 5-7 6-4 6-4. Klaasen and Roelofse remain unbeaten in Davis Cup.

With South Africa leading the tie 2-1, only one of the two reverse singles were required to be won to clinch the tie.

But Israel were having nothing of it. In the battle of the number ones, Dudi Sela showed his “top 100 ranking” class to beat Lloyd Harris 7-6 (2) 6-1. Harris competed well in the opening set but seemed bothered in the breaker and second set and admitted he wasn’t himself but gave credit to Sela who he said was a “good friend and a hero” in his eyes.

With the tie levelled at 2-2, the pressure was on Nik Scholtz (South Africa) and Edan Leshem (Israel) to deliver the victory for their respective countries.

The higher ranked Leshem prevailed and delivered the win for Israel when he overcame a strong challenge from Scholtz, winning 6-3 7-5.

A disappointed Marcos Ondruska, captain of the KIA SA team said, “things were running very well being 2-1 up is significantly better than being 1-2 down but experience but from experience I knew it was far from over. To lose like this is tough.”

“Israel were serious, they came well prepared, were on a mission and took every opportunity to win” continued Ondruska.

Harel Levy, the captain of Israel said, “obviously we are happy with the win and credit to my players who delivered. Dudi Sela had to play 8 sets in less than 24 hours and that was a big ask. I was hoping after the doubles we would need only one point but we lost the doubles, Dudi only had 30 minutes to shower, eat and recover - and hats off to Dudi for coming back on court and beating Harris the way he did.”

Ends

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