Scholtz triumphs in Potch
Potchefstroom - Nikala Scholtz, the upcoming South African tennis star, is flying high. The Boland based Davis Cup player captured his maiden international title here on Saturday by winning the RVTA NWU-PUKKE Futures.
The 21-year-old Scholtz upset fifth seeded Simon Cauvard of France 6-4, 6-0. Cauvard was hoping to make it a French double having won the first Futures tournament of the two tournament series at the same venue a week earlier.
Unseeded Scholtz, whose big serve and volley game dominated on the high altitude, said he was very happy with his performance over the past two weeks.
“This was my first win in a Pro tournament and it was also my first over Simon Cauvard.
Simon is a very good player and having defeated him today means so much to me because I have played him four times and never won a set off him, so I’m very happy with my performance.”
The real importance of the win for Scholtz was that he secured his first world ranking points. “Today’s win means a world to me as I will have ATP ranking points which I never had, so I’m very excited to be ranked among the Pro’s for the first time. And this is a motivation to make me work a little harder now that I know I can do it”.
“I have been playing lot of tennis without a break the past 6 months, so I will take some time off and enjoy the South African summer before I head back to America in January,” Scholtz continued.
Inclement weather on Friday had forced the women semi-finalists to return to court on Saturday, and this time the matches were concluded without further interruption.
When play was aborted on Friday, fifth seeded Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar had already clinched the first set 6-3 against South African junior Ilze Hattingh and was leading 3-0 in the second. Razafimahatratra returned to court on Saturday and closed off the match 6-3, 6-2.
Razafimahatratra was back soon back on court after a suitable break to face France’s Estelle Cascino in the final. Cascino had reached her final berth with a challenging 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over American Stephanie Kent.
The Madagascar professional again tasted success as she defeated the seventh seed, Cascino 7-6 (7/5) 6-0 for the title.
South Africa won a second title when top seeds Jean Andersen and Ruan Roelofse, who have won nine doubles titles on the ITF Futures circuit in 2012, beat second seeded Cauvard and Elie Rousset both from France 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 [10-5] to win their tenth title.
In the women doubles, Zarah Razafimahatratra won a double together with South African Lynn Kiro when they claimed the title over top seeds Kim-Alice Grajdek of Germany and Israel’s Keren Shlomo by walkover when Grajdek couldn’t take to court due to a shoulder injury.