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Venter beaten but Els and Dlamini march on in Pretoria
- Updated: July 1, 2015
Former world number one junior and women’s top seed Mariska Venter crashed out but Leon Els and Bongani Dlamini put on a masterclass performance in the men’s and quads ‘singles semi-finals respectively at the Pretoria Open on Tuesday.
The match of the day belonged to top seed Mariska Venter and fourth seed Rosalea van der Meer, in a match lasting 210 minutes and Van der Meer won the gruelling encounter. It was an epic match and no player was willing to give an inch. Van der Meer caused the first upset of the tournament when she eliminated the former world No1 junior to march to the final round. Van der Meer thrashed Venter 7-5 6-3 to set-up a final clash against second seed French lady Christine Schoenn.
‘I was very much focused during my match and with Mariska being the top seed I wasn’t expecting an easy challenge. I was in charge in both sets from the onset but I kept making lot of errors especially in the first set but I am very thrilled that I emerged victorious,’ said Van der Meer following her win.
Schoenn beat Van der Meer for the Airports Company South Africa SA Open consolation title in 2013 and the South African is savouring the opportunity to return the favour.
‘I played Christine two years ago at Ellis Park in the consolation final and she is a very strong player and despite having lost to her in that debut I am confident and ready to take her on in tomorrow’s final,’ added Van der Meer.
Schoenn, who is no stranger to South Africa, dispatched Thando Hlatswayo 6-1 6-2 to advance to the final.
Men’s top seed Leon Els edged second seed Henry De Cure of Australia 6-3 6-1 in a two-hour two-setter semi-final. The 27-year old and defending champion awaits a tough final clash challenge from second seed Australian Keegan Oh-Chee. ‘I played my game today without holding back and it paid off’.
‘It will be the first time I play Keegan tomorrow, I have lots of respect for how he plays. He plays very fast and consistent and most importantly has a very good attitude. With him being my doubles partner I have studied how he plays so I am ready for the challenge tomorrow,’ said Els.
In another men’s semi-final, Australian Oh-Chee ousted Israeli Amir Levi 6-2 6-0. Their match was full of long rallies and spectacular shot-making, but Oh-Chee’s battle with Levi was mostly made up of short points and all about who could blunt their opponent’s serve.
The top-seed South African quad ace Bongani Dlamini, pictured above, whipped his countryman Ronewa Mudzanani 6-3 6-4 and will meet Danny Mohlamonyane of Dannilton in Wednesday’s final after the second-seed Mohlamonyane defeated fourth-seed Queen Nlapo in straight sets 6-0 6-1.