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Maripa downs top seed to win Joburg Open

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 17: Lucas Sithole of South Africa in action against  Haim Lev (ISR) in the quads final during day 4 of the ACSA Joburg Open at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium on December 17, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

South Africa’s Evans Maripa claimed the Airports Company SA Joburg Open men’s singles title when he upset world No14 Japanese Takuya Miki at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium on Thursday.
Maripa was the star player of the day after he staged a stunning upset to defeat the top seed Miki. The superstar played with power, aggression and consistency – and kept his focus to devastating effect – to record a 6-3 7-5 victory over the top seed.
‘This is huge for me, it was hot out there and Miki is a tough player but I was able to emerge victorious. I struggled a bit in the second set, I lost focus and made a few errors but I knew I wanted to keep the trophy at home,’ said Maripa.
Among the many congratulating Maripa for his incredible triumph today was his opponent Miki. ‘Evans is a very good player and he played extremely well today. He really deserves this title’, said Miki after the prize giving ceremony.
It was a stunning win for Maripa, who had only beaten Miki once in their previous six matches as he rallied to win in two sets and take the championship at the Ellis Park venue, the South African old lady of tennis.
Women’s third seed Busra Un of Turkey was another champion after she put on her finest performance of the tournament, stunning Thando Hlatswayo to win her first International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 3 title. The Turkish star ended Hlatswayo’s hopes with a 6-4 6-3 defeat to secure the title. ‘I am so excited and cannot even express my joy, winning a title on my first visit to South Africa. This is my first big title and I hope to come back to South Africa next year for the April tournaments’, said Un.
Another Turkish player to clinch a title was Aysegul Zirarsiz who edged out third seed Wendy Hlongwane 6-0 6-0 in an hour-long two-setter junior girls final.
In the quads tournament, world No3 and top seed Lucas Sithole had a far less dramatic time, easing past Israel second seed Haim Lev 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour to take the quads singles title.

Picture of Maripa courtesy of Reg Caldecott


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