Jiske Griffioen laid the perfect foundation for her SA Open title defence with an excellent run in the Gauteng Open and the world number one aims to finish the week in style at the Gauteng East Tennis Complex in Benoni.
The Dutch top seed disposed of compatriot Aniek van Koot in the semi-finals to book a date with Yui Kamiji in Sunday’s final round.
Defeating the world number two from Japan in the Level 1 International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament will not only deliver a boost of confidence, but it will send a strong message to the women’s singles field heading to Ellis Park Tennis Stadium for the first Super Series event of the season.
Griffioen effortlessly dispatched third seed Van Koot in straight sets 6-1 6-2 with the same power game that saw her surrender just 10 games in the tournament.
Kamiji needed three sets against local favourite Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane to reach the semi-final and had to grind out another three-setter to get past defending champion and world number six Marjolein Buis.
The tenacious Dutch player won the first set 3-6 and the petite Japanese player had to step it up in the second set to stay alive in the match. Kamiji took the second set 6-3 and won the third 6-2.
This marks Kamiji’s first visit to South Africa, but Griffioen has been a regular campaigner in the two UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour events, sponsored by the Airports Company South Africa.
She lost the Gauteng Open final to Montjane in 2013, but beat Sabine Ellerbrock from Germany 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 to lift the SA Open title at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium last year.
WOMENS SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:
RSA unless stated:
1-Jiske Griffioen (NED) bt 3-Aniek Van Koot (NED) 6-1 6-2
2-Yui Kamiji (JPN) bt 5-Marjolein Buis (NED) 3-6 6-3 6-3
1-Jiske Griffioen (NED)/ Aniek Van Koot (NED) bt 4-Sabine Ellerbrock (GER)/ Dana Mathewson (USA) 6-3 6-1
2-Marjolein Buis (NED)/ Yui Kamiji (JPN) bt 3-Kgothatso Montjane/ Lucy Shuker (GBR) 6-1 6-2