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Els and Venter snap up Strand tennis titles

Leon Els, SA's no.2 in the men's division

Leon Els and Mariska Venter have clinched a brace of titles at the Airports Company South Africa Strand Open tournament.
Els now has a hat trick of titles with an inspiring win over Marshall Marsh in the final while, Venter got back to winning ways once more to assert her position on the women’s world rankings.
After a loss to her nemesis, Thando Hlatswayo, in the girls singles finals, Venter turned the tables on the former to claim the women’s title in a closely contested 6-4 6-4 encounter.
The Ermelo lass had previously shown her prowess by only conceding a few games against Tsholofelo Sibanda and Nonkanyiso Nyosi in the earlier rounds.
The match got off to an electrifying start with both players trading rallies and seeking to control points.  The match was on serve until Venter broke in the ninth game in both sets to shut the door on Hlatswayo’s resistance.
The men’s finals pitted the newly crowned doubles champions against each other in a repeat of last year’s semi-finals that went Marsh’s way.
Revenge was on the cards as Els sought to clinch his third title on the trot, Marsh though was gallant in fending off any offensive from the former.
But it was not to be with Els claiming a podium finish with a clinical 6-3 6-4 victory to add the Airports Company South Africa Strand Open title to his trophy cabinet.
Bongani Dlamini was made to sweat by the determined Danny Mohlamonyane in the quads title decider. After a slow start which saw Dlamini dropping the opening set, Dlamini staged a comeback of note with an avalanche of attacks in the second set before going for the jugular in the third set.
Dlamini floored his opponent 3-6 6-2 6-4 to confirm his status as the man in charge in the absence of Lucas Sithole.

Final Results

Men’s Singles Final
Leon Els bt Marshall Marsh 6-3 6-4

Mens Doubles Final
Leon Els/Marshall Marsh bt Frank Ramokoatsi/Patrick Selepe 6-0 6-3

Women’s Singles Final
Mariska Venter bt Thando Hlatswayo 6-4 6-4

Women’s Doubles Final
Mariska Venter/Rose van der Meer bt Thando Hlatswayo/Tsholofelo Sibanda 6-3 3-6 7-6 (5)

Quad’s Singles Final
Bongani Dlamini bt Danny Mohlamonyane 3-6 6-2 6-4

Boy’s Juniors Final
Sean Liam de Hilster bt Xolelani Nyandeni  6-3 7-5

Girl’s Juniors Final
Thando Hlatswayo bt Mariska Venter 6-1 7-5


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