ATP Tour

De Voest targets Soweto glory

2013-04-28 16:37
Rik de Voest (Photo: Mario Van de Wall)

Johannesburg - With a recent winning sequence of 13 matches and two tournament victories behind him, South African Davis Cup stalwart Rik De Voest will be seeking his first Soweto Open title.

"I've reached the final of two of the previous three Soweto Open events before losing to France's Fabrice Santoro in 2009 and Izak van der Merwe in 2011, and seem to produce my best form at the Soweto venue," De Voest said on Sunday, on the eve of the R1m tournament starting on Monday at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu.

As an extra incentive for De Voest in the tournament, which boasts a winner's prize of approximately R100 000, is the 100 ATP points that could improve his world ranking by as much as 50 places. He is currently ranked 204th.

"I've been playing some of the best tennis of my career after recovering from a wrist injury last year that resulted in my world ranking dropping to 327th. My big ambition for 2013 is to better my career-best mark of 110."

Winning the ATP Challenger and Futures titles in the Canadian city of Rimouski, and Oklahoma City in the US, as well as gaining South Africa's only victory in the recent 3-1 Davis Cup defeat against Poland, augers well for his prospects.

Seeded seventh in the Soweto tournament behind top-seeded Lucas Lacko, De Voest begins his quest for a first Soweto Open title against relatively unknown German Richard Becker.

From a South African perspective, other first-round games of interest will be that between Davis Cup squad member Ruan Roelofse and the second-seeded Rajeev Ram, as well as the appearance of teenager Wayne Montgomery, who is rated eighth junior in the world and was given a wildcard into the tournament.

But it is De Voest, South Africa's second-ranked and most dependable Davis Cup player over the past decade, who will be carrying the country's main hopes of a home success.

His most serious opposition in Soweto will come from an assortment of international Davis Cup players, namely Slovakia's Lacko, America's Ram, Philipp Petzschner (Germany), Vasek Pospisal (Canada) and Thiago Alves (Brazil), in addition to the colourful Jamaican-born German resident, Dustin Brown, who won the Soweto Open in 2010.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the restoration of the Soweto Open, with a grant of R5m from the department, was a key factor in unearthing new talent and restoring South African tennis to the heights it enjoyed in the past.

The men's Soweto Open will be followed from May 6 with the women's version of the tournament, which will be staged under the aegis of the ITF and as part of the worldwide WTA circuit.

Read more on:    soweto open  |  atp tour  |  rik de voest  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.