De Voest off to solid start
Rik de Voest (Gallo Images)
Potchefstroom - Most of the seeds enjoyed a good day on day one of the Tennis South Africa (TSA) NWU-Pukke Futures tournament on Tuesday.
In a rain interrupted day, top seeded South African Rik de Voest was called off court leading 5-1 in the opening set against Evan Song of the US.
De Voest returned to court to serve out the first set and complete an easy second set winning 6-1 6-2. “I am happy with my start” said De Voest.
“The rain has been disruptive but I am glad to have the first round under my belt.”
De Voest said that 2012 started fairly well for him but he gained “much needed” confidence during the US Open in September.
“Sadly I injured myself in Canada after New York during the Davis Cup. That broke my momentum and had to take a couple of weeks without tennis. I’m trying to pick up now and it feels great to play in South Africa after a while. I’m here to win, I will put great efforts into this and hopefully I will be playing over the weekend” continued De Voest. He will now play Oran Reznik of Israel in round two on Wednesday..
Second seed Suk-Young Jeong of Korea failed to turn up for his first round match against Austrian Lukas Weinhandl. Lucky-Loser, Jandre Schoeman of South Africa replaced Jeong in the draw but his luck ran out early when he lost to Weinhandl 6-0, 6-2.
Another South African, fourth seeded Ruan Roelofse, looked in control from the onset in his 6-2, 6-0 win over training partner and best friend Adriaan Du Toit.
Roelofse who captured eight ITF Futures doubles titles this year believes 2012 has been a great year of tennis for him. “I felt I played a pretty good level today, me and Adriaan are very good friends and we train together in Stellenbosch. He’s younger than me and I think that was a bit of an advantage with my experience but it’s never easy playing a good friend. I’m happy with my performance and happy to be in the second round.”
Tournament “dark horse” Nikala Scholtz, who hails from Greyton in Western Province but currently doing his University studies with the University of Mississippi in the United States, opened up his campaign against Zimbabwe’s Mark Fynn winning 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).
Scholtz who was a Davis Cup debutant for the country in the recent Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Canada, said he was feeling comfortable about his game and like De Voest was happy to be playing back home.
“I was real honoured to represent my country in Davis Cup. I learnt so much from playing world No 15 Milos Raonic. Actually for the first time I realised that I could compete with the top guys but still have a lot to learn and things to improve on to get to the next level. I’m really thankful for that opportunity; it meant so much to me and taught me so much. The experience of seeing how those guys at the top are doing it was great because that’s where we all want to be,” said Scholtz.
Scholtz felt that he was a bit “rusty” in his first round match. “I had to take all my final exams about a week ago so I have been studying more than playing. I’m glad I made it today but I still need to work on my confidence as I have been playing in doors in America, so I’m still adapting”.
The women’s top seed, Chanel Simmonds of South Africa caught the eye on the opening day of the tournament.
Simmonds played fellow South African Eden D’Oliveira and won easily 6-1, 6-0. “I served very well and that definitely helped. I’m looking forward to my next match,” said Simmonds following her victory.First round results of the TSA NWU-Pukke Futures played at the NUW-Pukke Campus in Potchefstroom (RSA unless stated):First round results
1-Rik de Voest bt Evan Song (USA) 6-1 6-2
4-Ruan Roelofse bt Adriaan Du Toit 6-2 6-0
Nikala Scholtz bt Mark Fynn (Zim) 6-3 7-6(6)
5-Elie Rousset (Fra) bt Matthew Rossouw 7-6 (7/1) 6-4
Oran Reznik (Isr) bt Lance Cohen 6-3 6-4
Tyler Hochwalt (USA) bt Brandon Laubser 6-2 6-3
Hassan Ndayishimiye (Bdi) bt Yaseen Ibrahim 6-3 6-1
Lukas Weinhandl (Aut) bt Jandre Schoeman 6-0 6-2Women
Sharon Paul (Ind) bt Julia Browne (USA) 6-2 6-2
Vanja Klaric (Srb) bt Miriam Lane (USA) 6-2 6-2
1-Chanel Simmonds bt Eden D'oliveira 6-1 6-0
Lynn Kiro bt Susan Niemann 6-0 6-1
5-Zarah Razafimahatratra (Mad) bt Marli Van Heerden 6-2 6-1
2-Anastasia Kharchenko (Ukr) bt Janneke Wikkerink (Ned) 6-0 6-0
4-Kim-Alice Grajdek (Ger) bt Nelise Verster 6-1 6-0Doubles
2-Simon Cauvard/Elie Rousset (Fra) bt Louis Pretorius/Lloyd Segal 6-2 6-3
3-Tyler Hochwalt (USA)/Abdullah Maqdas (Kuw) bt Yaseen Ibrahim/Sean Mcintosh 6-0 6-1
Renier Moolman/Matthew Rossouw bt Keith-Patrick Crowley/Mark Fynn (Zim) 6-4 2-6 [10-7]
4-Stepan Khotulev (Rus)/Lukas Weinhandl (Aut) bt Raubenheimer Gerber/Lionel Jarrard 6-1 6-0
Anru Fourie/Hassan Ndayishimiye (Bdi) bt Murphey Parker (USA)/Yu Takahashi (Jpn) 6-3 7-5
Dustin Goldenberg (USA)/Jose Martin (Esp) bt Joel Kincaid/Evan Song (USA) 6-7(3) 7-6 (13/11) [11-9]
Adriaan Du Toit/Vaughn Hunter bt Dylan Bernatzky/Garrett Ceronio 6-2 6-3 Women
4-Laura Deigman (GBR)/Sharon Paul (Ind) bt Shannon Cox/Susan Niemann 6-2 6-2
1-Kim-Alice Grajdek (Ger)/Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Vanja Klaric (Srb)/Jone Kruger 7-6 (7/0) 6-2
Valeria Bhunu (Zim)/Jessica Simpson bt Bianca Birkenstock/Marli Van Heerden 6-3 6-3
Estelle Cascino/Lea Tholey (Fra) bt Nadine De Villiers/Nicole Dzenga (Zim) 6-0 6-1
Stephanie Kent/Casey Robinson (USA) bt Eden D'oliveira/Tamar Shahaf 6-2 6-3
Charlotte Roemer (Ecu)/Nelise Verster bt Jeanna Schmidt/Lindsay Truscott 4-6 6-3 [10-4]