A few days ago at the Polokwane Open, top seed Mariska Venter was stunned in the semi-final round by 15-year-old Nalani Buob from Switzerland who celebrated her second International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament title in Polokwane when she saw off Thando Hlatswayo in the women’s final.
Venter moved one victory closer to her first Soweto Open title by getting past top junior Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-2 6-1 in the semi-finals on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Jabavu, Soweto.
The former junior world number one Venter will face the Swiss junior world number four to attempt to earn her first title in Jabavu.
“I improved my serve today and it worked and I am very happy with my performance. I did not perform my best in my last meeting with Nalani Buob and lost to her in the Polokwane Open so I look forward to fight and turn the tables around,” said Venter.
The number four seeded Buob advanced by eliminating second seed Thando Hlatswayo 6-4 6-1, a rematch of last week’s Polokwane Open final, which Buob won in straight sets.
Afterward, in the men’s semi-finals, top seed Leon Els neared his fourth Soweto Open title by toppling his biggest rival fourth seed Marshall Marsh in straight sets 6-1 6-2. Els’s win over fourth-seeded Marsh provided yet another reminder of his dominance in the men’s game.
Unseeded Thato Tsomole caused the major upset of the day by demolishing second seed Mzwanele Thentsi to set up a final clash against Els. The North West player stunned Thentsi to reach his first final and thwart the second seed’s Soweto final contest hopes.
Tsomole, the 2013 Newcomer of the year award winner at the SA Sports awards played magnificently in a 3-6 6-3 6-1 in Jabavu on Saturday.
“It was an amazing atmosphere on court and I felt great and strong like I never have before,” said Tsomole.
Having lost the first set of the final following a poor service game, Tsomole came storming back with a barrage of winners that left the second seed looking lost for a response.
In the quads event, defending champion Danny Mohlamonyane moved into another Soweto Open decider with an untroubled semi-final win.
The second seed Mohlamonyane had a 6-1 6-1 victory over compatriot Queen Nhlapo and will next play top seed Bongani Dlamini. If the country number three Mohlamonyane wins Sunday’s final against the top seeded Dlamini, he will record his second consecutive title in Soweto.
Dlamini, the top seed survived a tough challenge before he ramped up his performance and advanced safely to the final round with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Thohoyandou’s Ronewa Mudzanani.
In the juniors, world number three Alwande Skhosana proved himself as the best player once again when he defeated Ian Snyman 6-2 6-1 to set up a final meeting against Mpho Mhlongo who saw off Tiisetso Motaung 7-5 6-1.
In the girls semi-finals, the world number two junior Nokwanda Hlongwane put on an absolute master class against Nsuku Ndlovu triumphing 6-0 6-0. Hlongwane now will meet second seed Nalani Buob from Switzerland in Sunday’s final. Boub eliminated Asive Gilifile 6-1 6-2 to reach the final.
Results of the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour being played at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Jabavu, Soweto on Saturday.
RSA unless stated
1-Leon Els bt 4-Marshall Marsh 6-1 6-2
6-Thato Tsomole bt 2-Mzwanele Thentsi 3-6 6-3 6-1
1-Mariska Venter bt 3-Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-2 6-1
4-Nalani Buob (SUI) bt 2-Thando Hlatswayo 6-4 6-1
1-Bongani Dlamini bt Ronewa Mudzanani 6-4 6-3
2-Danny Mohlamonyane bt Queen Nhlapo 6-1 6-1
1-Alwande Skhosana bt Ian Snyman 6-2 6-1
2-Mpho Mhlongo bt Tiisetso Motaung 7-5 6-1
1-Nokwanda Hlongwane bt 4-Nsuku Ndlovu 6-0 6-0
2-Nalani Buob (SUI) bt 3-Asive Gilifile 6-1 6-2