Top seed wheelchair tennis ace Leon Els clinched his fourth Soweto Open title with a 6-4 6-3 triumph over unseeded Thato Tsomole in the men’s final at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Soweto on Sunday.
Although the world number 38 Els was challenged by Tsomole in the opening set, the Paralympic Games first time qualifier maintained his dominance in the second set, reading Tsomole’s serve more easily and bringing his superior fitness to bear. Els applauded Tsomole for his great performance in his first final, “Congratulations to my opponent Thato Tsomole for the great job on court, he played magnificently well. “I’m so happy to do it a fourth year in a row, it wasn’t easy today but I dug deep to emerge victorious,” commented Els.
Fourth seed Nalani Buob from Switzerland has completed a magical fortnight of tennis with her finest performance of all, stunning top seed Mariska Venter to win her first Soweto Open title. The Swiss star ended Venter’s hope with a 6-2 6-4 defeat to secure the title.
It is the 15-year-old Buob’s second women’s title on her first visit to South Africa, following her victory at the Airports Company South Africa Polokwane Open last week.
“South Africa has been great, it is my first time here and I knew it was going to be a challenge especially today against Mariska Venter but I am very happy that I took two women’s, two girl’s and two doubles titles,” said Buob. “The experience here was great, the people are amazing so I am definitely coming back later this year for the next tournament,” added Buob.
The top seed and former world number one junior Venter had been out-of-sorts since the Polokwane Open and could not match the fourth seed in the power department as Buob claimed a sensational straight sets victory. It was Venter’s fourth failed attempt to clinch a title at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center. She lost in the finals the past three years in the Soweto Open, in perhaps even more disputing fashion.
Second seed Danny Mohlamonyane was another player to cause an upset of the day after Buob. Mohlamonyane disposed of the top seed and the country’s number two Bongani Dlamini in an all-South African quads singles final to record his second title in Jabavu.
An overwhelmed Mohlamonyane defeated Dlamini 6-3 7-6(3) to lift his second Soweto Open title. “It is the second time I beat Dlamini here in Soweto, this is huge for me and today I have discovered a weapon to win against any player, I just need to stick to my game and not let nerves get in the way”, said Mohlamonyane following his win.
South African top junior Alwande Skhosana recorded his second title in Jabavu after defeating compatriot second seed Mpho Mhlongo 6-1 6-2 for the boy’s singles title, while Nalani Buob lifted the girls title when she toppled top seed Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-1 6-2 in Sunday’s final.