Brave Roelofse goes down in Soweto Open | SASCOC - SASCOC

Brave Roelofse goes down in Soweto Open

Ruan Roelofse put up a brave challenge in the opening round of the Soweto Open on Tuesday, but it was not enough as he ultimately went down 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 4-6 to second-seeded American Rajeev Ram.

The South African Davis cup player, ranked 502nd by the ATP, dug deep to force the first set to a tie-break and take the early lead against the world No 111.

Ram, however, fought back to clinch a spot in the second round of the ATP Challenger Tour event. ÔÇ£It was tough playing the second seed in the first round,ÔÇØ Roelofse said.

ÔÇ£I played a good match, a good first set, played the big points really well in the beginning, but in the end it was two bad service games from my part that made the difference.

ÔÇ£I lost concentration a bit in the second set and that gave him a chance, and a player like that will take advantage of the one mistake you make.ÔÇØ

Roelofse was part of the SA Davis Cup team that went down 3-1 to Poland earlier this month and the 23-year-old said he took a lot from that experience.

ÔÇ£Being part of the Davis Cup team helped me tremendously because I played Jerzy Janowicz, a No 24 ranked player, if I’m not mistaken,ÔÇØ he said.

ÔÇ£I also played other top-ranked players and took sets with them as well, which means I can play with the top 100 ranked players in the world. That’s helped me a lot and gave me confidence going into this match.ÔÇØ

In other first-round matches, Brazilian Andre Ghem edged out South African Keith-Patrick Crowley, winning the match 6-4 7-5  while Michal Konecny beat Gregoire Burquier in three sets to win 6-2 4-6 6-2.

Top seed Lukas Lacko of Slovakia booked a second-round clash against Konecny after defeating Ricardo Hocevar 6-4 6-2.