TSA mourns death of Drewett
Johannesburg - A moment's silence was observed before the start of the final at the Soweto Open on Saturday, in memory of the president of the ATP, Brad Drewett, who died on Friday at the age of 54 after a battle with motor neuron disease.
The men's singles title was won by Canadian Vasek Pospisil, after his opponent Michal Przysiezny retired hurt in the deciding third set, with Pospisil leading 6-7 (7/9), 6-0, 4-1.
Ian Smith, chief executive of Tennis South Africa (TSA) released a statement on behalf of the national tennis body, in which he sent his condolences to Drewett's family.
"Tennis South Africa on behalf of all the people of South Africa send deepest sympathy to Jo Drewett and her children Jack, Ally, Joe and Tom as well at the whole ATP family on the passing away of Brad Drewett yesterday after a long illness bravely borne," the statement said.
"Brad was a good friend of South Africa, loved visiting our country and played an important role in bringing ATP tennis back to South Africa in the new South Africa. Brad will be sorely missed."
Smith added that he was particularly saddened by Drewett's death, as he had grown close to the Australian.
"On a personal note, I got to know Brad many years ago, and during and after the negotiations for the ATP SA Open, was a firm friend of TSA and one of our biggest supporters.
"Brad was a respected leader, friend and colleague. He contributed as a player and leading administrator to the growth and popularity of the game worldwide and his efforts will certainly have an everlasting impact on the game.
"Our prayers and thoughts go out to the global tennis family at this time. Rest in peace Brad."
The women's tournament begins on Monday.