VENTER CLINCH DOUBLES TITLE IN BELGIUM
South African wheelchair tennis rising star Mariska Venter has successfully defended her doubles title at the Memorial Jens Open to add to her accolades by clinching her second doubles crown at the Royal Ter Rivieren Tennis Club in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday.
Venter put the icing on the cake with another magnificent Memorial Jens Open campaign, teaming up with Donna Jansen from the Netherlands for a second doubles crown. The duo defeated Dutch pair Marlise Peters and Ilse Van De Burgwal in straight sets 6-3 6-2.
“It feels great defending our title and being unbeaten for two years, a big thank you to my partner Donna from the Netherlands,” commented Venter.
“The Memorial Jens Open is very close to my heart and every match we play is in honor of Jens Vanherck, a former junior tennis player who passed away 7 years ago,” added Venter.
The Memorial Jens Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and celebrates a young wheelchair tennis player, who passed away at the age of 15 in 2011.
In the singles event, the 22-year-old Venter was focused and determined, posting a confident win over Zoe Maras from France 6-2 6-2 in the opening round, before going on to outplay Ilse van De Burgwal (NED) 6-2 6-0 in the last eight. Venter also impressed in dismantling world number 46 Polina Shakirova from Russia 6-2 7-5.
Although she could not make it a double after coming short in the final against her doubles partner Donna Jansen (NED), she played with passion to win the title of the singles runner up after losing to Jansen 4-6 6-1 3-6.
Venter said she was disappointed for not winning the title, but she was happy with her performance, “Obviously I am disappointed for not winning the title, but I had a good run up to the final and played great tennis,” said the world number 58.
In the men’s tournament, North West’s Leon Els reached the semi-final round in both singles and doubles events losing to Dermot Bailey (GBR) 4-6 1-6 and to French pair of Jasaik/ Laget 2-6 6-7(7) with partner Mitchel Graauw (NED) respectively.
Venter and Els will move on to the next tournament, the Ath Open, an ITF level 3 event which will run from Wednesday to Sunday in Ath, Belgium.