Business of Sport

Amateur duo to represent SA

2011-11-14 10:00
Danie Buys and Annemarie Lotz
Johannesburg - Danie Buys and Anmerie Lotz will represent South Africa in the 2012 Kia Amateur Australian Open in Melbourne after winning the South African qualifier at the University of Johannesburg’s Tennis Club on Sunday.

Buys and Lotz, who came into the tournament as top seeds after winning their Gauteng leg of the regional qualifiers, were made to fight for the tournament as they needed tiebreakers in both their semi- and final before showing character and determination to be crowned champions.

They will now head to Australia to take part in the finals of the Kia Australian Amateur Open where they will face the top teams from 20 different countries in the tournament that runs parallel to the Australian Open. Both Buys and Lots will now have the honour of playing at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, and will be spoilt with front row seats for the men’s final match.

But it was a tough day at the office for the pair, who had to fight through a tiebreaker in their semifinal to beat Brandon Zackey and Julie Monsour before needing a similar effort to win the final against Dewaldt Linde and Debbie van Aswegen.

The final started well for the pair, as Buys broke Linde in the sixth game and went on to win the one-set encounter 6-3.  Lotz however started well, breaking Van Aswegen’s serve in the third game, but then was immediately broken back as her opponent turned up the heat and started playing some excellent tennis as the thunderstorm threatened overhead.  Van Aswegen eventually went on to win 6-3, sending the final into a mixed doubles decider which also came down to a tiebreaker.

Things didn’t look good when Linde had match point on his own big serve, but went big and paid the price as Buys played a superb return to level matters again.

Then Buys and Lotz kept their calm to play clinically, and took the tiebreak 8-6.
On a tough afternoon Buys, a contractor who builds and refurbishes tennis courts, was relieved to have won after so many close moments.

“I knew it would be tough, but it was really tough out there,” Buys said, “We were down a match point and Dewaldt has a big serve. He went big, but luckily I got the return back, I don’t know how. I can’t remember the rest of the points, but the win is awesome.”

It is the first success for the pair, who played together in the semis of the Kia Australian Amateur Open in 2005 but has never made it to the final. It was also a fabulous 50th birthday present for clothing designer Anmerie who celebrated the milestone on Monday.

“I can’t wait – I’ve been to the Aussie Open before and it’s better than Wimbledon. This tournament is amazing; I will tell everyone at the club and all my friends. We are treated like gold here, and it is so well run.  It is a fabulous opportunity for any Amateur tennis player.”

Buys says they can expect tough competition in Melbourne but will be ready for whatever they encounter.

“We’ve both played overseas with the SA Veterans team, and we know the competition will be tough there. It will be the team that keeps their cool under the pressure, and not necessarily the strongest team that will win,” Buys said.
Kia, as proud sponsors of the tournament, were delighted with the standard of tennis on display.

“We witnessed some excellent tennis this weekend and the standard was definitely at a global level,” Ray Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Kia South Africa said.

“Danie and Anmerie were deserved winners and showed guts and determination in fighting off their challengers. They certainly will be great ambassadors for South Africa at the Kia Australian Amateur Open.

“Kia South Africa have always been a proud sponsor of tennis and we are glad that through this tournament we can showcase the exceptional talent and provide a base for these players to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at the Rod Laver Arena.

“We wish Danie and Anmerie all the best and know they will do their country proud.”

Read more on:    kia  |  johannesburg  |  tennis

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