Stellenbosch - South Africa’s last hope in the Futures 2
finals, Lloyd Harris, failed to capture the men’s singles title on Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Capetonian was stopped in the final by
third seeded Austrian, Lucas Miedler.
Miedler, aged 19, beat the 18-year-old South African 7-6
(7/4), 6-1 to capture the title at the University of Stellenbosch courts. It
was the first time the two had met on court.
Despite Harris breaking Miedler’s serve in the third game of
the opening set, he wasn’t able to hold out as Miedler broke back a game later,
before winning the set in a tie-break. Meidler dominated the second set, losing
only one game in securing victory.
Miedler, ranked 465 in world tennis, gave credit to Harris
following his victory. “Lloyd is a very tough player and in the first set he
broke me, but I managed to break back and keep my composure to take the title.
Harris plays a big game and has a bright future.”
A visibly disappointed Harris, who dropped only one set in
reaching the final, was hoping to win his fourth Futures title. “I started off
very well I believe but my opponent is just as much a fighter as I am,” said
Harris. “It was close in the first set and I didn’t capitalise on the early
break so yes I am disappointed but all in all it was a good week,” said Harris,
who is ranked 500 in the world.
In the women’s singles final, unseeded Valeria Bhunu of
Zimbabwe continued her giant killing run to win her maiden Futures title.
Bhunu, who upset the fifth and seventh seed en route to the
final, needed an hour and thirteen minutes to upset sixth seeded Katharina
Hering of Germany 6-4, 6-0 to lift the title.
“I started out very nervous, in the first set she made me
work for every point but I kept on my game plan. She changed her strategy in
the second set but that worked better for me and I don’t think she realized
that,” said Bhunu.
In the men’s doubles, Lucan Miedler won the double when he
teamed up with fellow countryman Pascal Brunner to win the title. Miedler and
Pascal, seeded one beat unseeded Peter Goldsteiner of Austria and Quentin
Robert of Reunion 6-4, 6-2.
The women’s doubles title was won by the second seed team of
Francesca Stephenson of Great Britain and Erika Vogelsang of the Netherlands,
who beat third seeded South Africans Ilze Hattingh and Madrie Le Roux 6-4, 6-4.
The third and final tournament of the Futures Series starts
this week at the Maties Tennis Club.