Newsletter no 11

JUNIORS:

Being school holidays this area has been well catered for with regards to tournaments.

The Primary Schools Inter provincial was held in Bloemfontein whilst the High Schools event was staged in Pretoria. It seems that the strength of schools tennis rests firmly in the hands of Kwa Zulu Natal as they won the under 13, 15 and 17 titles. Congratulations to them on a “clean sweep.”

We finished 2nd in the under 17 event; 4th in the under 15 and 3rd in the under 13.

Our following players were chosen as reserves for the SA Schools side which is due to travel to Malaysia towards the end of the year;

Juan Louis van Antwerpen
Dylan Walters
Yusuf Jassat
Anisa Essop

It will be a wonderful opportunity if these children do get the nod to go, and for them to experience travel to this part of the world, and play tennis, will hold them in good stead  in the future.

Our squads are back after the holidays but what with all the upcoming Public Holidays, they will not be in action again until 7 May.

TOURNAMENTS:

The Soweto Open was rather hampered by the weather. The rain towards the end of the week meant that the finals were only played on the Sunday and not the scheduled Saturday.

CONGRATULATIONS to Izak van der Merwe on gaining his second ATP title, and how good was it to see another South African, Rik De Voest also in the final. It was a thrilling three setter, finishing almost in the dark after a rain delay of some 2 hours midway through the afternoon.

The truncated semi finals were only completed earlier in the day, and with bad light almost threatening to call a halt to the match, Izak edged home 63 in that deciding set.

The unseeded Russian, Valeria Savinykh had a real “African Dream,” coming storming through the field to take the ladies title. Valeria beat four seeded players on her way, including the 4th seed in the very first round; the top seed, Britain’s Anna Keothavong in the semi final and then the 2nd seed, Petra Cetkovska from the Czech Republic in the final,  61 63, to take her first ITF Pro Circuits title.

The weather did not give our overseas visitors a real taste of an African summer, particularly towards the end of the event, but we hope that they all went home with good and happy memories of what, for some, would have been their first visit to this country.

Sadly, from our point of view, the marketing of the event was poor. Little in the way of advertising was evident and despite promises made by certain parties very little information was given to us to forward to you as our members. This particularly refers to the proposed “Safe Journey” initiative that was supposed to have seen secure transport offered from Sandton to the courts and back.

The recent Gauteng North KeyHealth tournament, primarily a junior event, was one of the first whereby the under 18 age group was replaced by an open event. This is one way that SA Tennis is trying to provide more tournament play for our senior players.

It was interesting to note that in the men’s draw of thirty two, twenty four were over the age of 18. This must have been very encouraging to see the response from the senior players, who have obviously taken advantage of this innovation.

Sadly, though only 8 ladies were over the age of 18.

The next series of tournaments whereby there will be an open category are as follows;

Gauteng Central KeyHealth 3 – 7 July

Gauteng East Open 6 – 8 September

Tukkies Open 23, 24, 25 and 30 September and 1 and 2 October

LEAGUES:

The Egoli league was very successful and we congratulate Bryanston Sports A winner of the Ladies Premier league and Morningside Country Club A winners of the Mens Premier league plus all the other section winners. This league has become an integral part of our calendar and we look forward to further growth in entries next year.

Combined league, always one of the most enjoyable league’s we play, starts on 7 May and runs through until 4 June.

Good luck to all those who are playing.

FINALLY….

Yes, the courts are being resurfaced at Ellis Park. We have been given funds from the National Lotteries Board and are not only resurfacing the courts there, but also at 2 other clubs within our Province.

It is hoped that as time goes on we will be getting more funds from this source to assist other clubs that are in need of assistance in this way.

In relation to other sports, tennis seems to suffer when it comes to sponsorship/donations, so these funds from the Lotto are a real boost to our Province.

Wendy will be away in Australia from 29th April to the 17 May 2011 visiting her son and daughter-in-law so should you need to contact the office please call Mr Bruce Gray 083-234-2347.

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