Johannesburg - South African tennis hopeful Rik de Voest crashed out of the
Soweto Open in the quarter-final on Thursday, losing 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 to third
seed Vasek Pospisil.
This was the second time De Voest failed to reach the last four, after he
was knocked out in the first round of the 2010 ATP Challenger event.
"Today was disappointing because I came here to do well, and there was
an expectation for me to do well," De Voest said.
"Overall, the quality of tennis in the match was fairly good. There
were just one or two points here and there where I made a few too many
mistakes, particularly earlier on in the match.
De Voest was broken twice in the third set and got one back, holding on to
stay in the match, but it was a case of too little too late for the South
African, who bowed out 6-4 in the deciding set.
"Pospisil has a phenomenal serve and I think he relies on that and when
he’s serving well he plays a lot better, and he just didn’t make as many
unforced errors as what he did in the second set," De Voest said.
The game ended a 15-match winning streak for De Voest, who has seen a good
run of form over the past months, taking his ranking from 350 to top 200 in a
space of two months.
"Overall, I feel like I’m playing better than I have before and
unfortunately my win streak comes to an end. From February through till now I
think I’ve had a great two, three months and hopefully I can continue with the
swing and the momentum and keep it going."
Countryman Dean O’Brien also failed to reach the semi-finals. He was beaten
in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 by top seeded Slovak Lukas Lacko.
This marked first time in the history of the Soweto Open that a South
African failed to progress to the last four.
"I wanted to get off to a good start and take it from there, but I got
outplayed at the end of the day," O’Brien said.
"This was my first match against a top 100 player and it was definitely
a learning curve for me.
"I can say I’m proud of myself for what I’ve achieved in this
tournament and probably this could be a good jump start to a good year."
Earlier, second seed Rajeev Ram was knocked out of the tournament after he
was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 by Mate Pavic.
"I felt terrible on my serve today," Ram said.
"I felt like it wasn’t popping as much and it just didn’t feel really
"I was trying to find my rhythm but it wasn’t really happening for
Fifth seed Michal Przysiezny of Poland outclassed Germany’s Dustin Brown
6-3, 7-6 (7/1).
Results on the fourth day of the Soweto Open men’s tournament at the Arthur Ashe tennis centre in Jabavu on Thursday:
1-Lukas Lacko (Svk) bt Dean O'Brien (RSA) 6-3 6-3
4-Michal Przysiezny (Pol) bt 5-Dustin Brown (Ger) 6-3 7-6 (1)
3-Vasek Pospisil (Can) bt Rik De Voest (RSA) 6-3 0-6 6-4
Mate Pavic (Cro) bt 2-Rajeev Ram (USA) 7-6 (4) 7-5
Prakash Amritraj (Ind)/Rajeev Ram (USA) bt 3-Mate Pavic (Cro)/Goran Tosic (Mne) 6-3 2-6 10-5
Michal Przysiezny (Pol)/Denis Zivkovic (USA) bt Purav Raja/Divij Sharan (Ind) 6-4 6-4