Klaasen outlasts Roelofse in the heat to clinch second straight KZN Open

2010-01-11 00:00

TOP seed and defending champion Raven Klaasen of Cape Town retained the Braaiketts KZN Open tennis title with a 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 victory over second seeded Ruan Roelofse of Stellenbosch at a baking Kershaw Park yesterday.

A marathon first set lasting one hour and 40 minutes gives an indication of how neither player was prepared to give an inch — and the fight for the R20 000 first prize extended for just over four hours in all before Klaasen wrested ownership of the 2010 title with two consecutive aces.

“I was happy I pulled it through in the end,” Klaasen said. “I allowed Ruan to get on the front foot too much, but played good when I had to … I am still not 100% where I would like to be with my game, but I could have gone another set if I was forced to.”

Roelofse said Klaasen had the edge when it came to the big points.

“The match was so close,” Roelofse said. “I served really well and had a lot of chances, but what it all came down to was one or two shots.”

One need look no further than the eighth game of the first set, all 25 minutes of it, to get a taste of the slim margin between the two.

Such was their precision at times, both players appeared to be painting the lines with the ball, and at four games to three, Klaasen was looking to break Roelofse before serving out to go 6-3 up in the first set.

However, Roelofse had other ideas. He saved six break points as the game went to deuce eight times before Klaasen served out for 4-4.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, Klaasen made short work of fourth seed Hendrik Coertzen, while Roelofse was taken to the wire by third seeded B.J. van Rensburg.

Saturday’s exciting doubles final went to five sets and after close to four hours, KZN’s Rikus de Villiers and Richard Cowden outlasted BJ van Rensburg and Paul Anderson of Gauteng 5-7 6-3 7-5 6-7 6-3.

RESULTS:

Singles final: 1-Raven Klaasen bt 2-Ruan Roelofse 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) 6-7 (4/7) 6-4;

Semi-finals: 1-Raven Klaasen bt 4-Hendrik Coertzen 6-1 6-3; 2-Ruan Roelofse bt 3-BJ van Rensburg 5-7 7-6 6-4; D

oubles final: 4-Rikus de Villiers/Richard Cowden bt 2-BJ van Rensburg/Paul Anderson 5-7 6-3 7-5 6-7 6-3.

* Braaiketts junior story, results in this week’s Mirror.

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