ELS, MOHLAMONYANE AND BUOB CHAMPIONS IN POLOKWANE
Nalani Buob from Switzerland made her first appearance in South Africa a winning one, while top seed Leon Els and quads ace Danny Mohlamonyane celebrated their first Polokwane Open titles at Polokwane Tennis Club on Tuesday.
Els, the men’s top seed, claimed his first title at the Airports Company South Africa sponsored event, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament. Els survived a massive scare to secure the title, the top seed overcame a hefty Marshall Marsh with a 5-7 6-1 6-2 victory.
Els took control until 5-5 in the opening set, but Marsh denied him the next eight games to get the victory. Whatever it was that clicked for Els in the next two sets, he became the dominant player we've come to expect seeing.
The world number 35 admitted to a disappointing first set but raced to a blistering two sets in a 2-hour match against Marsh. “I battled a lot in the opening set, nothing worked and Marshall is very good in the windy conditions. I fought my way back to 5-all in the first set but lost it. I relaxed and everything worked out for me to win the next two sets,” said Els.
“I am very happy that despite a bad start in the match I managed to pull through,” added Els.
Third seed Nalani Buob has completed a magical week of tennis with her finest performance of all, stunning second seed Thando Hlatswayo to win her first title in South Africa. The Swiss-lady ended Hlatswayo’s hope with a 6-3 7-5 defeat to secure the title.
Hlatswayo hammered tennis balls too quick and took the first lead 2-1 in the opening set. Boub came back strong to win two games in a row to turn the plates around and took the lead and clinched the set 6-3.
In the deciding set, the determined Swiss had been playing inspired tennis. From the opening game when she broke to love, it was obvious that Boub meant business. Aggressive and dogged, the world number four junior was striking the ball like a player ranked higher.
Buob said she played her best tennis in Polokwane and she is very thrilled to take the title for the first time. “It is my first time coming to South Africa and I am very excited to have won three titles on my first Futures event in the country”.
The 15-year-old celebrated triple success when she defeated unseeded Nosipho Hlatswayo for the junior girls’ title and clinching the doubles with South Africa’s Mariska Venter.
In the quads event, the second seed Danny Mohlamonyane who started incredibly strong and looked primed for the massive upset took the first set, dropped the second against top seed Bongani Dlamini but fought back to win the deciding set. Mohlamonyane disposed of the country’s no.2 quads ace Dlamini in an all-South African quads singles final. The 33-year-old played with power, aggression and consistency - and kept his focus to devastating effect - to record a 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory over the top seed.
World number three junior Alwande Skhosana defeated compatriot Ian Snyman for the Polokwane Open title. Skhosana saw off Snyman 6-1 6-0 to record his first title in Polokwane.
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.