LEON ELS CLINCH HIS THIRD SOWETO OPEN TITLE
Potchefstroom’s Leon Els took his third, Danny Mohlamonyane his first and Christine Schoenn from France her first victory on Soweto soil, while the country women’s top seed Mariska Venter came up short in the finals of the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open on Monday.
Men’s top seed Els toppled Australia’s Keegan Oh-Chee 6-0 6-3 to claim his third successive men’s singles title at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto.
The 27-year old immediately expressed his excitement saying defeating a player of such calibre is a huge achievement for him. “This is a huge relief and I am thrilled that I was able to defend my title in both the Pretoria and Soweto Open and I am even happier that I won against a strong player like Keegan”, said Els.
“I recently came from a four-week oversees tour, where I struggled with a faulty chair and that messed up my joints and I was so tired. I had an added pressure of coming at these must-win tournaments to make sure I maintain my ranking especially with the Paralympics coming up next year”, added Els.
Among the many congratulating Els for his incredible triumph today was his opponent Keegan Oh-Chee. “Leon Els is a tricky customer, a good and strong player. I never know what to expect from him and today I was unable to keep up. He played very well and he really deserve this title”, said Oh-Chee who lost to Els in the finals of last week’s Pretoria Open and Soweto Open.
Second seed Christine Schoenn of France has completed a magical fortnight of tennis with her finest performance of all, stunning top seed Mariska Venter to win her first Soweto Open title. The French-lady ended Venter’s hope with a 7-6(5) 6-2 defeat to secure the title.
It is Schoenn’s second title in South Africa, following her victory at the Airports Company South Africa Pretoria Open last week.
Danny Mohlamonyane was another player who caused an upset after Schoenn. Mohlaonyane disposed of the country’s no.2 quads ace Bongani Dlamini in an all-South African quads singles final. Mohlamonyane played with power, aggression and consistency - and kept his focus to devastating effect - to record a 6-2 6-4 victory over the top seed in the final.
“It is the first time I beat Dlamini, this is huge for me and today I have discovered a weapon to win against any player, I just need to stick to my game and not let nerves get in the way. Today marks one of the best achievements since I started playing wheelchair tennis”, said Mohlamonyane following his win.
South African top junior Alwande Skhosana took just 52 minutes to beat compatriot fourth seed Mncedi Zenani 6-4 6-3 for the boy’s singles title, while top seed Nokwanda Hlongwane saw off Asive Gilifile 6-1 6-0 to take the girls final.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and the sport of wheelchair tennis. Airports Company South Africa has contributed no less than R36-million to date and has committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme.