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Tennis trio on top at Strand Open

Kgothatso Montjane, Evans Maripa and Bongani Dhlomo all produced top drawer performances to clinch the singles and doubles titles in their various categories at the ASCA Strand Open in the Wetern Cape at the weekend.

Montjane completed an emphatic week with a 6-0 6-2 routing of Mariska Venter in a match that was epitomised by Montjane’s world-class showing.┬áDespite the pressure and scurrying for points by Venter, she was outclassed in every department by a player ranked 27 places above her.

Venter’s star has been on the rise in recent times only to fall at the last hurdle to Rose van der Meer and now Montjane. She will however relish future prospects in 2014 where it is hoped that she will be one of the torch bearers along with Montjane.┬áIn the women’s doubles category, Montjane partnered Van der Meer in a 6-2 6-1 drubbing of Thando Hlatswayo and Mabel Mankgele.

Men’s top seed Evans Maripa, right, put up a merciless performance against fellow countryman, Marshall Marsh in the finals.┬áThe match was set to showcase the depth of the men’s team ahead of the World Team Cup next year.

Marsh has shown a recent upsurge in his game and has weathered the strong winds to upset players in the top four. But it was not to be against the seasoned Maripa who confirmed his return to the event he won in 2012 with an ousting of the latter in a 6-0 6-2  scoreline. Maripa later teamed up with Donald Ramphadi, to complete a brace of his own beating Leon Els and Marshall Marsh 6-4 6-3.

Bongani Dhlamini wrapped up a tournament of braces with a 6-4 6-3 win over first time finalist Danny Mohlamonyane.

Mohlamonyane has been the toast of the tournament due to his ousting of two top players en route to the final. Dhlamini though was not to be denied in completing a grand slam of victories in South Africa. After a stuttering first eight games in the first set, Dhlamini was adamant to show who is boss by shooting to a 5-4 lead before clinching the opening set 6-4.

The second set was marred by unforced errors from the novice and Dhlamini saw out his fourth victory this year with a 6-4 6-3 win. Dhlamini then called upon Steven Kekai in their doubles battle against Mohlamonyane and David Mathebula, and the former team won 6-2 4-6 6-4 in a see-saw battle that could have gone either way.

 


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