HLATSWAYO CAPTURES MAIDEN TITLES, ELS CONTINUES DOMINANT PERFORMANCE
Thando Hlatswayo and Leon Els were the toast of the AIRPORTS COMPANY SOUTH AFRICA PRETORIA OPEN with their neatly woven and well deserved victories. Hlatswayo registered her maiden title on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Circuit with Els demonstrating total dominance at both the AIRPORTS COMPANY SOUTH AFRICA SOWETO and AIRPORTS COMPANY SOUTH AFRICA PRETORIA OPEN's for the second year running.
Hlatswayo played some unbelievable tennis befitting of a future global campion, ousting the top seeded lady and defending champion, Rose van der Meer in straight sets in the semifinals, 6-4 6-2. In the finals she squared up against rival Mabel Mankgele where she clinched the first set, dropped the second, but regained composure to take the final set. This 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory ensures that Hlatswayo will move up several notches on the world rankings.
In the doubles Venter and van der Meer captured the womens doubles title in scintillating fashion. The match went down to the wire and was a see-saw affair. After dropping the first set 4-6 the two clawed their way back to post a 4-6 6-2 6-4 victory over Hlatshwayo and Mankgele and walk away part of the winners circle.
The mens singles finals pitted Leon Els against Austrian teenager Nico Langmann, a sequel to the first week's final. The script followed the same sequence with Langmann capturing the first set 7-5 but soon caved into pressure and lost the second and third sets 6-4 and 6-3. This victory confirms Els as the "King of the South African Wheelchair tennis circuit" for 2013 and 2014. Els and Langmann partnered to capture the mens doubles title witha 6-2 6-0 drubbing of top seeds, Donald Ramphadi and Mayenzeke Gwija.
Bongani Dlamini put the heartache of the first week behind him by grinding out a three set win over the up and coming Danny Mohlamonyane in the quads singles final. The first set was epitomised by heavy hitting and pattern play by Dlamini who raced to a 6-2 victory but his complacency led to a dramatic downturn in the second, losing the set 5-7. To secure a victory he had to conjure a comeback at 4-5 down in the third and save several match points to clinch the final set 7-5 and rake in another title on the local circuit.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
The Airports Company South Africa is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and the sport of wheelchair tennis. Airports Company South Africa has contributed no less than R26-million to date and has committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme.