Another win for Izak | SASCOC - SASCOC

Another win for Izak

By Mark Etheridge

Izak van der Merwe went through to the third round of qualifying for the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Saturday.

Sadly he was the only one of three South Africans to survive qualifying ahead of the first Grand Slam event of 2011.

Van der Merwe beat Jean-Rene Lisnard in three sets 7-6 6-7 6-2. Ranked 177th on the ATP Tour rankings, he would have been expected to come through against the 1175th ranked Monaco player.

Van der Merwe will now face an altogether tougher proposition in the shape of 15th seeded qualifier, Donald Young of the United States.

Our two other South Africans who went out were Rik de Voest and Fritz Wolmarans.

De Voest went out to top-seeded qualifier Blaz Kavcic in three topsy-turvy sets 7-6 0-6 6-0.

And then Fritz Wolmarans had another match in which tie-breakers decided the winner. This time he was on the receiving end as he lost to 11th seed Giles Muller of Luxembourg. The match lasted 110 minutes and the final scoreline read 7-6 7-6.

Our top-ranked tennis player, Kevin Anderson, is already in the main draw of the Australian Open where he will play one of the qualifiers. Top-ranked women’s player Chani Scheepers comes up against Croatian Karolina Sprem in the first round.