Defeat for De Voest | SASCOC - SASCOC

Defeat for De Voest

By Mark Etheridge

Rik De Voest has been knocked out of the Vancouver Open in Canada, falling at the quarter-final stages.

Our 30-year-old Davis Cup ace was back in Canada hoping to repeat his winning exploits of last year when he lifted the doubles title.

But it wasn’t to be and he and American partner Bobby Reynolds lost out to British pair Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski.

They lost a tough three-setter, going down 7-5 6-7 10-7 to the second seeded British combination who now play American wildcards Ryan Harrison and Jesse Levine in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile in Kitzbuhel, our doubles stalwart Jeff Coetzee is into the semi-finals of the Austrian Open. Coetzee and Britain’s Jamie Murray breezed past Austrian’s Rainer Eitzinger and Phillipp Oswald.

They beat the Austrians, their second all-Austrian opponents of the tournament, 6-1 6-0.

This means the third seeds will now come up against either Dominik Hrbaty and Lukas Rosol or Hans Podlipnik-Catillo and Max Raditschnigg in the semi-finals.

Said Coetzee from Kitzbuhel on Friday. “Because of the rain we got lucky and played indoor which favoured our game hugely. We played good, aggressive tennis and it worked well. It’s still raining now but we’re in the semis and I can can do what I want and not sit around waiting until it clears. I’m just glad that we got the job done yesterday.”

Meanwhile our Davis Cup captain, John-Laffnie de Jager is back from the US after more success in the American Team Tennis League and busy negotiating with players before announcing the squad for the tie against Germany in Stuttgart on September 17-19.

It was one of the world’s worst-kept secrets that clay was going to be the surface of choice for the German hosts but De Jager was well aware of this. His biggest problem now is to persuade our top-ranked player Kevin Anderson to make himself available. Anderson moved up to 80th on the world rankings recently and his big-serving game will be crucial if South Africa are to make any further progress.

De Jager was in the US for his fourth season of leading the Springfield Lasers in the World Team Tennis Pro League. He guided his team to a WTT-best 9-5 regular season record and a spot in the Western Conference Championship match and it’s the the third time in the past four years that De Jager has earned WTT Coach of the Year honors. He first received the award in 2007, his first season as coach of the Lasers, and again in 2009.

“It’s a real honor to achieve the WTT Coach of the Year Award,” said de Jager.┬á “Obviously, you cannot achieve an honour such like this,without your team performing well and each member of this year’s Lasers team contributed equally to our success.┬áIn that respect, it really was a team effort.┬áI do feel fortunate to coach in Springfield and for what I feel is the best franchise in the League.”

De Jager’s team included 2010 WTT Male MVP (Most valuable player) Martin Damm, MVP runner-up Rik de Voest, Chani Scheepers, the last two South Africans, and Carly Gullickson.