Tennis elbow floors Simmonds
Chanel Simmonds (Gallo Images)
Potchefstroom - Tournament top seed Chanel Simmonds from South Africa on Thursday pulled out of the RVTA NWU-PUKKE ITF Futures quarter-finals due to the tennis elbow.
Simmonds, who struggled in her second round win on Wednesday due to the injury against compatriot Madrie le Roux withdrew ahead of her last eight match against fifth seed, Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar.
“I’m obviously very disappointed in having to pull out. Yesterday I really struggled with the elbow and when I woke up today it was even sorer that it was yesterday,” said Simmonds.
“I have had the tennis elbow before and it seems to have reoccurred. I usually experience it if I have been playing lot of tennis. I had a rough 2-3 months and it all seemed ok, so I was surprised it only came out now.”
Simmonds said that she was happy with her form going into this week having won the first tournament at the same venue last week.
“I was playing very well until my last match yesterday when I couldn’t serve properly, so I had to pull out as the pain gradually worsens. I need to take care of my arm and be ready for the upcoming WTA tournament in Auckland later this month and right after that we have the other WTA in Australia and then I will be playing the Australian Open.”
South Africa’s Ilze Hattingh, African Junior Champion, scored her third upset in a row and booked her spot in Friday's semi-finals upsetting sixth seed Lea Tholey of France 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
After losing the opening set, the second set went on serve until the thirteenth game when Hattingh broke to fight back and take the second set 7-5. An early break in the fourth game of the final set took the “wind out of Tholey’s sales” and Hatting lost only one game in winning the finals set.
South Africa’s promising star, Hattingh said she was very happy with her performance from the outset of the tournament. “I have had some great matches in Potchefstroom and I’m very delighted with my performance. And I hope if I stick to my game I might make it to the finals.”
Hattingh is the sole South African women’s player to reach Friday’s semi-final where she will meet fifth seeded Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar.
Seventh seeded Estelle Cascino of France also needed three sets to beat Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhunu 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Cascino will play Stephanie Kent of the United State of America in the second women’s semi-finals.
Kent displayed great temperament as she survived a closely-fought three setter against South African junior Lynn Kiro 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
In the men’s tournament, fourth seeded Abdullah Maqdas work hard in the second set to beat Austria’s Lukas Weinhandl 6-1, 7-5 to move into the semi-finals.
On Friday, Maqdas will play fifth seed Simon Cauvard of France who was a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 over Evan Song of the USA.
Cauvard is hoping to win two titles on the trot having win last week’s event at the same venue.
Pretoria-based Tucker Vorster is enjoying the week of his life. Unseeded, Tucker beat Cape Town’s Keith-Patrick Crowley also unseeded 6-3, 6-4 to unexpectedly move into the last four where he will have his hands full in his battle against new Davis Cup player Nikala Scholtz for a spot in Saturday’s finals.
Scholtz needed three hours to narrowly beat American Tyler Hochwalt 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7).
The semi-finals will be played on Friday with the finals of the tournament scheduled for Saturday. There is no entry fee for spectators.