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SA duo downed

Izak van der Merwe and Rik de Voest both fell by the wayside in French Open qualifying action at Roland Garros, Paris on Wednesday.

Both our singles players had come through the first round easily enough but that was as good as it got, writes Mark Etheridge.

They both went out after three-set battles. Van der Merwe lost to France’s David Guez, going down 2-6 5-7 0-6 in a match lasting just under two hours.

Van der Merwe had a better first service percentage than his opponent and also served five aces compared to two but could only convert two of his six break point opportunities compared to Guez who won six of 10.

De Voest had the tougher task of the two South Africans, facing the qualifying draw’s top seed in the shape of Alex Bogomolov Jr. But he fought hard before going down 0-6 6-1 4-6 in a match lasting 1hr 41min.

The two shared the ace count at two apiece with Bogomolov being double-faulted three times compared to De Voest’s one but it was in the first service percentage that the difference could be seen — the American had a 73% return while De Voest sat at 56%.

The South African duo’s defeat leaves only Kevin Anderson in the main men’s draw of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament. The draw is scheduled to take place on Friday.


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