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Early exit for Kevin, Izak

By Mark Etheridge

Top ranked Kevin Anderson’s season has come to an end with defeat in the doubles competition at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France and on the other side of the world second-ranked Izak van der Merwe was knocked out in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Anderson and American John Isner went down to the US/Dutch Antilles combination of Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Roger. The first round clash was another epic clash between the two pairings.

Having lost in Valencia,  Anderson and Isner were again on the wrong end of the scoreline, this time in three hard-fought sets, 7-6 (4) 6-7 (8) 10-7.

Meanwhile Van der Merwe, who started the week with his highest ATP Tour ranking of 111th, came through the first round of the ITF Challenger event easily enough against the Dominican Republic’s Victor Estrella in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (5). But in the next round the tournament’s fourth seed was beaten by American qualifier Brian Baker in straight sets 6-2 6-3.

At the same tournament, third-seeded Rik de Voest also went out in the second round, losing 6-0 6-2 to American Jesse Levine. It was Levine who Van der Merwe beat last week to win the $50,000 Challenger event in Charlottesville, Virginia. And a third South African, Fritz Wolmarans, went out in the first round to Canada’s Pierre-Ludovic Duclos 6-4 7-6 (4).

Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, South Africans Ruan Roelofse and Steffen Solomon have been playing in the $10,000 ITF Rwanda F1 Futures on clay. Wendy Chadwick reports that Ruan Roelofse was seeded number one for both the singles and doubles. Unfortunately neither player got past round two in the singles. With an ITF ranking of 410 Ruan lost to Francesco Vilardo ranked 1202 in the second round 6-3 6-0. His compatriot Steffen Solomon was beaten by Austrian Marcus Weiglhofer in the first round.

Playing with Gerald Melzer in the doubles, Ruan has fared better and he and his Austrian partner are through to the semi finals where they will meet the number four seeds from Egypt Sherit Sabry and Mohamed Safwat. Steffen Solomon teamed up with Frenchman Paterne Mamata and lost in the quarters to second seeds Alexei Filenkov and Lukas Jastraunig.


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