VENTER, ELS SECURE FIRST TITLES IN MANAGAUNG
South African top seeds Leon Els and Mariska Venter secured their first titles in Mangaung on the finals day of the Airports Company South Africa Bloem Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures event, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis tour on Wednesday.
In an incredible men’s final, Els beat Austria’s Nico Langmann to win the Bloem Open 3-6 7-6(10) 6-2 at Oud Studente Tennis Club. Taking the court more than three hours, Els and Langmann delivered two of the best sets of tennis this tournament has seen.
The Austrian took the first set 3-6 and when they were at 5-all in the second set, Els’s chair broke. The top seed admitted to nerves but raced to a blistering three-setter match. “This match was very tough, in the first set I was a little bit nervous and stiff and got frustrated when my chair broke,” said Els. “I had to borrow someone’s chair, which I wasn’t used to but I made it work for me to close the second set and quickly clinched the deciding set 6-2,” added Els.
“I am very happy with my performance and it really means the world to me being able to win three Futures tournament titles in a row,” Els said following his victory.
In the women’s tournament, Venter enjoyed a double-win in Mangaung. The former world no.1 junior dethroned her doubles partner Thando Hlatswayo in the women’s singles final clash 6-1 6-2 to clinch her first Bloem Open title.
Venter said she played her best in the tournament and she is very thrilled to take the Bloem Open title for the first time. “It was really good, I enjoyed the tournament and very pleased with my performance,” said Venter.
Another South African to capture a title was Bongani Dlamini, who demolished his compatriot and second-seed Danny Mohlamonyane 6-3 7-5 to secure the quads singles title.
The country’s top junior player Alwande Skhosana took less than an hour to defeat Mpho Mhlongo 6-1 6-0 for the boys’ singles title and Nokwanda Hlongwane denies fourth seed Wendy Hlongwane the girls singles title. Nokwande beat Wendy 6-2 6-3 to clinch the title.
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.