De Voest falls at final hurdle
Potchefstroom - Veteran Rik de Voest stumbled at the final hurdle but fellow South African Chanel Simmonds won the women's title on the final day of the NWU-PUKKE Futures tennis tournament in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Simmonds, the top seed in the women's singles event, beat third seed Keren Shlomo of Israel 6-1, 6-4 to lift the crown.
Despite easily clinching the opening set 6-1, the South African was made to fight hard in the second set for her victory.
"I played a great first and came out firing in the second set when Keren took a medical timeout," Simmonds said.
"I think her arm was sore but after the timeout she started playing better, but I kept my composure and was able to pull it through."
Simmonds was pleased with her performance throughout the week.
"I didn't lose a set all week, and even though I was strongly challenged in my quarter-final match against seventh-seed Estelle Cascino, I really am happy with my performance."
Men's top seed De Voest lost to Simon Cauvard, the seventh-seeded Frenchman, who produced a solid all-round performance, eliminating the South African 6-3, 6-4 to win the men's title.
This was De Voest's first tournament in South Africa since the 2011 South African Open.
"I played an ok match today, but ok was not good enough. I felt I was creating more chances while he only created a few," De Voest said.
"But the difference was he took advantage of his chances and I did not.
"Simon attacked the net more often and he was playing well on the big points."
De Voest admitted he was frustrated not to have lifted the men's crown.
"I'm very happy for making it to the finals but my goal as top seed was to come out here and win and I'm a little disappointed it did not work out according to plan."
The men's doubles final was won by top-seeded South Africans Jean Andersen and Ruan Roelofse, who beat second-seeded French pair Cauvard and Elie Rousset 6-1, 4-6 [10-7] .
In the women's doubles final, top seeds Kim-Alice Grajdek of Germany and Shlomo beat unseeded Lynn Kiro of South Africa and Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar 2-6, 6-4 [10-8].