MARISKA VENTER DETERMINED TO AVENGE BUOB DEFEAT AT SOWETO OPEN
South African number two women’s ace Mariska Venter will get a chance to avenge her loss against top seed Nalani Buob from Switzerland after they both advanced to the Soweto Open semi-finals with straight set victories on a rainy day at Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto on Saturday.
Venter eliminated Nonkanyiso Nyosi 6-1 6-3 while top seed Buob saw off Ntsuku Ndlovu 6-0 6-1.
Venter, the former world number 1 junior, suffered a stunning loss against Buob in the Soweto Open final last year and will meet her again on Sunday when they slug it out for a position in the final.
The 21-year-old Venter is chasing her first title at Arthur Ashe while the 16-year-old Buob is looking to defend her title.
“Last year I was in a very emotional state after realizing that I didn’t qualify for the Rio Paralympics and did not play my best. I look forward to play Nalani again after I lost to her in the finals here last year. It is a new year and it’s been great, so I look forward to the match tomorrow,” said Venter.
Israel’s Veronica Zvik will celebrate her 31st birthday by playing in the semi-final of the Soweto Open after a straight-set victory over Wendy Hlongwane.
Zvik defeated Hlongwane 6-3 6-0 in a match which was interrupted by rain.
The former world number 27 Mankgele ensured the country will have two strong women in the semi-finals after dumping out Dipuo Molefe 6-1 6-4.
In the men’s tournament, the four-time Soweto Open champion Leon Els continued his strong run in the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event with a comfortable win over compatriot fifth seeded Luwie Mabelane. The 29-year-old who is hunting his fifth title at Arthur Ashe took less than an hour to saw-off the 21-year-old 6-1 6-0.
In another men’s quarter-final, Thato Tsomole who eliminated fourth seeded Ishmael Tshipuke on Friday had won a potentially tricky encounter against another seed, Mayenzeke Gwija (Seeded number 6) proving that he is once again a stronger player.
Tsomole defeated Gwija 6-3 7-6(4) and will next go up against top seed Els on Sunday for a place in the final.
Second seed Alwande Skhosana continued his ruthless form in Jabavu by dispatching Seven seeded Vuyisani Mantshula 6-1 6-1 to book a spot in Sunday’s semi-final.
Skhosana will play third seed Donald Ramphadi after the 24-year-old from Limpopo beat unseeded Aobakwe Magotlo 6-3 6-3.