Healthy entries for top PMB tennis tournament

2008-01-08 00:00

THE popular annual Braaiketts Tennis Tournament begins tomorrow at Kershaw Park and runs until Sunday’s finals.

The competition entry is a very healthy 183 players and the quality is excellent for an event of this nature, which promises the best Braaiketts tournament in history.

The Braaiketts Men’s Open, which is also recognised as the KZN Open, sees 27 players entered in an event that carries R14 400 in prize money.

The top seed is Ruan Roelofse from the Western Cape, who recently reached the semi-finals of the SA Open, losing to tournament winner Raven Claasen. Possessing a fine all-round game, Roelofse is a strong favourite to win the R8 000 winners cheque.

Second seed is KZN captain Gareth Greenwood, currently ranked 17th in SA. His strength lies in superb fitness and mental strength, while home-court advantage also plays a role.

Third seed Charl Botha, of the Western Cape, is ranked 37th in SA and his strength lies in his bullet-like serve. Greenwood’s club and provincial partner, Boyd Michau, is the fourth seed and a formidable tennis player with hardly any weaknesses.

Young Russian Dimitri Krouchev is seeded fifth. Ranked 306 in the world ITF junior rankings, Krouchev recently lost a tight contest with Roelofse. Jason Wolfson from Gauteng is the sixth seed and a baseliner whose wonderful returns wear out most opponents. Seth Roselt of North West is seventh seed and is ranked 46th in SA. The last seeded player is Brett Lagerwall of Durban, a tough competitor who has played many Braaiketts tournaments and won age group singles finals.

Several dark horses who could upset the fancied players include Durban’s Clifford Morrison.

The Braaiketts Ladies’ Open, which, like the men’s event, doubles as the KZN Women’s Open, has a field of 12, dominated by the four top seeds. Top seed is SA Federation Cup player Kelly Anderson, a superbly fit athlete who will be very difficult to beat. Second seed is Andrea Oates from Gauteng, ranked sixth in SA. Third seed is SA’s 18th-ranked player, Abigail Olivier of the Western Cape. Ksenia Moskal, a promising young player from Pretoria and seeded fourth, is a wildcard who could spring surprises.

• The junior events preview will appear in tomorrow’s Witness.

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