The Tennis SA beach tennis team has made history by winning South Africa’s first ever tie at the ITF World Beach Tennis Team Championships. The team came from 1-0 down to beat Lithuania 2-1, earlier today.
TSA beach tennis manager, Iain Smith, sent us this report from Moscow….
South Africa took on Lithuania and again as the underdogs. After a tough opening day, the team were determined to turn the tables and look for our first tie win, having taken sets and a mens doubles off Cyprus on day one.
Bonnie Davidson and Helga Jeska took on a very young team, Viktorija Banaityte (438) and Marija Visockyte (269). However while being in contention for both sets and competing well, in the end it came down to 4 deuce points at crucial times that did not go the SA way.
Bronwyn and Helga showed considerable improvement from the Cypris ladies doubles, but again it’s a case of shot selection at close points, experience and luck. First match to Lithuania and first blood 7-5 7-5.
Tucker Vorster and Ryan Brookshaw were eager to take on the opponents of Skirmantas Macinskas (64) and Eligijus Macinskas (85) – two players in the top 100 of the ITF rankings.
Not to worry, picking up from where they left off on Tuesday, Tucker and Ryan put on a display of mens doubles that shocked the opposition with a 6-4 6-4 win, levelling the tie at 1 all.
Down to the mixed, where so many ties are won and lost, which requires patience and good understanding, not to mention some experience which does not happen in 3 months. However, the kitchen sink and all appliances were thrown at Lithuania as Tucker and Helga were nominated to ensure that SA do not finish last and to see if SA could secure our fist tie win at the World Championships.
A very closely contested first set saw it go the way of SA, 7-6(5). There were some close moments, but the team pulled it off. The second set was very much controlled by SA, although there was a slight waiver at 5-2, resulting in Tucker serving it out, ably assisted by Helga to love to secure the mixed doubles victory and a 2-1 win for SA.
A historic day for a very young and inexperienced team. A very proud moment in Russia. Well done to the team who dug deep!