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- Skhosana starts his 2017 season in France
- Birkett spearheads big field for Drak Challenge
- Olympian Barrow chooses SA over Australia
- Prinsloo starts 2017 with another payday
- Junior Bok star Davids gets Blitzboks call-up
Seeds sweep into the next round at Soweto Open
- Updated: July 1, 2016
It was pretty much smooth sailing for all the seeds on Thursday’s opening day of the Soweto Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures event being staged at Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto.
Three-time Soweto Open champion Leon Els is hunting his fourth title at the Airports Company South Africa sponsored event and began his title defence with a master-class performance.
Top seeded Els, pictured right, saw off compatriot Alfred Gaje 6-0 6-1 in the opening round and, after just a few minutes rest, the 28-year-old dispatched Vuyisani Mantshula 6-3 6-4 to advance to Friday’s quarter-final round.
East London’s Mzwanele Thentsi, seeded second, also advanced to the quarter-finals after defeating Gift Lekhanyane in a tough two-setter 7-6 (8) 6-1 in the first round and went on to topple Xolelani Nyandeni 6-2 6-3 in the second round.
In the women’s event, top seed Mariska Venter who is in gung-ho mood at the Soweto Open after a mixed performance in Polokwane, enjoyed a bye in the first round. The top seed then dismantled Jane Ndenga 6-1 6-2 in the second round to book her spot in the last eight at Arthur Ashe.
econd seed Thando Hlatswayo and Nokwanda Hlongwane also advanced to the next round in the women’s singles.
Hlatswayo defeated fellow South African Lerato Mathonsi 6-1 6-0 and will meet unseeded Phoebe Masika from Kenya who eliminated seventh seed Lethabo Shai, while Hlongwane, who knocked out Nsuku Ndlovu 6-1 6-2, will play compatriot Nonkanyiso Nyosi.
Top seed Venter will face fifth seed Mabel Mankgele in tomorrow’s quarter-final.
Switzerland’s fourth seed Nalani Buob and reigning Polokwane Open champion ousted Alisha Sadler-Almeida 6-1 6-0 and will go head-to-head against eighth seeded Asive Gilifile.
Pictures by Reg Caldecott