TOP SEEDS REMAIN ON COURSE AT JOBURG OPEN
Top seeds Evans Maripa and Kgothatso Montjane remained on course after powering past Thato Tsomole and Mabel Mankgele respectively to advance to the semi-final round of the Joburg Open at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Soweto on Monday.
South African number 1 men’s ace Maripa, who recently captured two titles in Israel, continued his winning streak to trash compatriot Thato Tsomole 6-0 6-0 in the singles quarter-final round in Jabavu.
The world number 12 will go up against top junior Alwande Skhosana in the semi-final round on Tuesday. The ecstatic 16-year-old dismantled Mayenzeke Gwija in straight sets 6-2 6-2 and said he will give it his best against Maripa in the semi-final.
“Evans is an experienced player and it’s always great to play someone of his caliber. I know it won’t be easy but I will play my best and hope for better results,” said world number 6 junior Skhosana.
Third seed Leon Els also advanced to the men’s singles semi-final round. Els defeated compatriot Ishmael Tshipuke 6-2 6-0 to book his place in the last four where he’ll come up against a much tougher opponent in second-seeded Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan.
Fujimoto defeated Mzwanele Thentsi 6-0 6-1 in his semifinal today to book his date with Els.
In the women’s event, the country’s leading player and world number 8 Montjane, lived up to the crowds’ expectation as she pulled off a sensation victory over country-girl Mabel Mankgele 6-0 6-0. Montjane will face former world number 1 junior Mariska Venter in Tuesday’s semi-final round who eliminated Nonkanyiso Nyosi 6-1 6-0.
“Great match today against Nonkanyiso, I played my best game,” commented Venter. “It is not going to be easy playing Kgothatso Montjane in the semi-final tomorrow but I will bring out my best. KG is ranked number 8 and has more experience but I am very excited to see the outcome of our match tomorrow,” added Venter.
In the other women’s quarter-final match, Switzerland’s number 1 Nalani Buob powered past Kwazulu-Natal’s Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-0 6-1 and next go up against fourth seeded Veronica Zvik from Israel for a place in the last two.
“I am looking forward to play Veronica tomorrow. It will be our first meeting ever, so it is going to be a little bit tricky. I have watched her play today against Nokwanda and still trying to come up with a game plan,” commented Buob.
Zvik booked her spot in the semi-final by defeating South Africa’s Simpiwe Manqele 6-0 6-0. The 31-year-old didn’t waste much time and prevented Manqele from winning any game.