ATP Tour

De Voest shines in China

2013-05-13 18:51
Rik de Voest (File)
Johannesburg - South African Davis Cup stalwart Rik De Voest speedily obliterated the disappointment of progressing no further than the quarter-finals of the recent Soweto Open by reaching the final of the ATP's R1,2-million Kun-Ming Open Challenger tournament in China on Sunday.

In a tournament with a substantially stronger entry than the Soweto Open, De Voest was shaded 6-4 4-6 7-6 by Alex Bogomolov jnr in the final, but not before accounting for the top-seeded Yen-Hsan Lu, who currently occupies 71st position in the ATP world rankings.

In the process, the resurgent De Voest improved his world ranking 33 places to 162nd - more than halving the 327th mark at which he started the year after a wrist injury kept him out of the tail-end of the 2012 season.

And with De Voest competing in the South Korea Challenger tournament in Busan this week, there is the prospect of improving his ascent up the rankings further.

Meanwhile, top South African Kevin Anderson, currently competing in the Italian Open Masters event in Rome, found himself on course to achieve his declared 2013 objective of qualifying for a place among the world's elite top 20 players at year-end.

While Anderson's current overall world ranking remained at 27th this week, the ATP's 2013 ranking released on Monday for tournaments this year has the big-serving, South African in 16th position.

And this effectively is a more accurate barometer for the year-end rankings rather than his current mark of 27th.

In addition, it places Anderson with an outside chance of qualifying for the prestige year-end ATP World Finals in London in which the top eight players for the year qualify.

"Kevin has made so much progress this year that the top 20 mark is certainly within his reach," said Anderson's agent, Stuart Duguid, on Monday.

"But we're taking one step at a time and qualifying for London is a daunting prospect, with players like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Davis Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Juan-Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet to compete against."

The last South African to qualify for the year-end ATP World Finals was Wayne Ferreira in 1995, with the former South African Davis Cup star reaching a world ranking of sixth in the same year during his auspicious career.

"Those are exciting challenges which Kevin can aspire to in the future," said Duguid.

"But for the meantime top 20 is the immediate target. And the prospects look pretty good."

Anderson is due to play top Croatian Marin Cilic in the second round, after accounting for Austria's, Jurgen Melzer, in a 6-1 6-2 rout in Rome.

Read more on:    rik de voest  |  johannesburg  |  tennis
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