SOGGY START TO THIRD DAY AT SA OPEN
A jam-packed day at the SA Open wheelchair tennis tournament was put on hold by persistent rain at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium on Wednesday.
The women’s semifinals, quads semifinals and men’s quarterfinals were all scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but play was delayed with plenty of athletes left frustrated by the soggy scenario.
SA number one and top seed at the tournament Lucas Sithole was due to take on compatriot Ronewa Mudzanani and Britain’s Antony Cotterill was down to face second seed Itay Erenlib from Israel in the quads semifinals.
In the women’s semifinals, top seed Diede de Groot was to take on Aniek van Koot in an all-Dutch clash while SA’s top female player, KG Montjane, was due to face another Dutchwoman, second seed Marjolein Buis this morning.
Should the conditions improve this afternoon, the schedule will be amended to accommodate the delayed matches.
Tournament Director Patrick Selepe explained that every effort would be taken to try and complete the tournament, although the weather forecasts for the rest of the week are not looking promising.
“If we can play at least one or two rounds this afternoon then it will be less for tomorrow. But if we are rained out today we can still play two rounds tomorrow, meaning all the matches that were supposed to be played today will be played tomorrow,” said Selepe.
“If tomorrow we can’t start as normal at 9am because of rain, then we’ll have to look at changing the format like playing a short-set format. Then, if tomorrow is rained out, we still have one more day on Friday, which is the last day. Then we’ll obviously also change the format again,” he added.
“If we are not able to finish at all, then everybody will get the points from where they are now. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about that but we’re hopeful it won’t get to that level.”
Clouds over Ellis Park were starting to clear towards the beginning of the afternoon with officials optimistic of play in the afternoon session.