Rik wins in Melbourne | SASCOC - SASCOC

Rik wins in Melbourne

By Mark Etheridge

Rik de Voest moved through to the second round of qualifying in the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Seeded 11th for the qualifying rounds, De Voest saw off Belgium’s Maxime Authon 6-0 4-6 6-1 out on Court Five. The match lasted just over two hours with a low ace count ÔÇô just one for De Voest and one for his opponent.

Thirty-one-year-old De Voest is currently ranked 125th in the world compared to the 225th spot occupied by Authom (24). He’ll now take on Uzbekistan’s Farrukh Dustov in the next round of qualifying.

Two other South Africans in action, crashed out in the first round of qualifying. Izak van der Merwe, the sixth seed, went down in straight sets to Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang, 6-4 6-4. Raven Klaasen also went out in straight sets, to Czech Republic’s Jan Hernych, 6-4 6-3.

Meanwhile, Chanel Simmonds’ bid for a spot in the main draw of the same tournament gets underway on Thursday.

The Kempton Park teenager takes on French opponent Claire Feuerstein in a Court 10 encounter. This is the first Australian Open for both players.

Simmonds ended 2011 campaigning on the South American circuit before returning home to prepare for qualifying rounds of the year’s first Grand Slam event.

A left-handed player living in Grenoble, Feurstein is currently ranked 185th in the world compared to the 185th of Simmonds which should make for a tough scrap between the two.