Skhosana flies, but tough test waits for Venter at Gauteng Open

BENONI, Wednesday, 30 March 2016. – World number three junior Alwande Skhosana wasted all of a minute on his first round loss in the men’s singles in the Gauteng Open before he rallied for victory in his opening match at the Gauteng East Tennis Complex in Benoni on Wednesday.

Picture credit: Reg Caldecott
World number three junior boys Alwande Skhosana in action at the Airports Company South Africa Gauteng Open at Gauteng East Tennis Complex in Benoni on Wednesday.

The 15-year-old KwaZulu-Natal protégé enjoyed a first round bye in the Boys Singles draw and easily advanced to the third round of the Level 1 International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament with a straight sets victory against compatriot Aviwe Mngambi.

“To have the chance to play against the best players on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour here at home is huge for someone like me,” said Skhosana, who beat Mngambi 6-0 6-0.

“I competed in two international events last year and I learned so much from playing against foreign opposition. I really hoped to through the first round in the men’s singles this week so I would have a chance to test myself some more, but it wasn’t mean to be.

“Unfortunately I don’t have any international competition in the boys singles, but I will still make the most of this week. Every tournament is an opportunity to learn and to gain world ranking points, so every match matters. I’ll have another chance next week at the SA Open; hopefully I can make it count.”

The chance to play world number two Yui Kamiji in the second round of the women’s singles at the Airports Company South Africa sponsored event was all the motivation South Africa’s Mariska Venter needed to tackle Emilie Chene from France in round one.

Venter threw everything into the tussle to win the first set 7-5 and the second 6-2.

“When the draw was published, I realised the winner would be playing Yui,” said Venter. “She is obviously the favourite on paper, but I relish the opportunity to play someone of her stature.

Picture credit: Reg Caldecott
South African former world number one junior Mariska Venter defeated Emile Chene from France in the women’s singles to advance in Benoni. Venter will next play world number two Yui Kamiji of Japan on Thursday.

“Having had the opportunity to compete abroad in half-a-dozen countries last year helped me to build confidence and taking on top 10 or top 20 players are not so intimidating anymore.

“I’m definitely not going to roll over and accept defeat. It’s the first time that Yui is playing in South Africa, so I hope to take advantage of my experience at altitude to give her a run for her money.”

Spain’s Lola Ochoa defeated South Africa’s Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-0 6-1 but will face South Africa’s tour-de-force Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montane in round two.

Ludmilla Bubnova from Russia, who beat Frenchwomen Emmanuelle Morch 7-5 7-6 (7), will face world number one and first seed Jiske Griffieon from the Netherlands.

WOMEN AND BOYS’ SINGLES RESULTS:

RSA unless stated

Women

Mariska Venter bt Emille Chene (FRA) 7-5 6-2

Charlotte Famin (FRA) bt Pauline Helouin (FRA) 6-0 7-5

Ludmila Bubnova (RUS) bt Emmanuel Morch (FRA) 7-5 7-6(7)

Wendy Hlongwane bt Lerato Mathonsi 6-3 6-1

Lethabo Shai bt Nyosi Nonkanyiso 6-2 6-3

Francisca Mardones (CHI) bt Thando Hlatswayo 6-0 6-4

Angelica Bernal (COL) bt Macarena Cabrillana (CHI) 6-2 6-1

Dana Mathewson (USA) bt Natalia Mayara (BRA) 6-1 6-3

Asive Gilifile bt Nomaafrika Gxumisa 6-2 6-2

Lola Ochoa (ESP) bt Nokwanda Hlongwane 6-0 6-1

Lucyna Mietrkiewicz (POL) bt Viktoria Lvova 6-2 7-5

Boys

1-Alwande Skhosana bt Aviwe Mngambi 6-0 6-0

2-Mpho Mhlongo bt Tiisetso Motaung 6-2 6-1

3-Ian Snyman bt Luyolo Yako 6-1 6-0

4-Siyabonga Ndumo bt Sbonelo Qwabe 6-1 6-1