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Soweto Open back again
- Updated: March 14, 2011
With local South African tennis players flourishing at this years SA Tennis Open at Montecasino, they will again have the opportunity to do well at home during the Soweto Open for both men and women, which will be played at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Jabavu, Soweto from April 11 to 16.
Each tournament will carry prize money of R700 000 and more importantly valuable world ranking points.
The event, hosted by the city of Johannesburg is becoming one of the more established tournaments on the Challenger tour and has always had an attractive field, with players like Frenchman Fabrice Santoro and Thai ace Tamarine Tanasugarn having participated in the past.
Last year Dustin Brown, who now plays out of Germany, won the men’s event, beating South Africa’s Izak van der Merwe in the final. Ironically the two met again at this year’s SA Open at Montecasino in the second round and it was Van der Merwe who came out on top on that occasion.
The women’s title went to Russia’s Nina Bratchikova who beat former world number 19, Tamarin Tanasugarn of Thailand 7-5 7-6 (7-2) in the final.
The Executive Mayor of Johannesburg Amos Masondo said that tennis is a great, exciting and a growing sport in South Africa and that to date the Soweto Open has been a resounding success. ÔÇ£We, in the City of Johannesburg, are proud to be associated with this event,ÔÇØ said Masondo. ÔÇ£We are committed to the growth of sport in general and tennis in particular. We are striving to make tennis a mainstream sport in Soweto and other previously disadvantaged areas. We salute all efforts by the South African Tennis Association as well as by players, supporters and sponsors to make this dream a reality,ÔÇØ continued Masondo.
The men’s event is an ATP Challenger Series event while the women’s event forms part of the ITF Pro Circuit and falls under the auspices of the International Tennis Federation although for the players, it carries WTA ranking points.
Both singles draws will comprise 32 players with 24 direct entries, four qualifying spots and four wild cards. The qualifying draw also contains 32 players the qualifying tournaments will take place On Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10.
The two doubles draws will comprise 16 teams each. The doubles finals for both men and women will be played on Friday April 15 with the singles finals taking place on Saturday 16 April.