Raven Klaasen wins KZN tennis final

2009-01-11 00:00

Top seed Raven Klaasen won the Braaiketts KZN Open singles tennis title at Kershaw Park yesterday.

The Western Cape man beat third seed Andy Anderson of Johannesburg 6-1 6-3 in the final to take the R11 000 first prize.

Klaasen was too polished for his tired opponent, who had just completed a tough three-setter less than an hour before the final started.

Unfortunately for Anderson, his biggest opponent was Saturday’s weather, the rain resulting in his semi-final against number two BJ van Rensburg being postponed until yesterday morning.

In contrast, Klaasen, in the first semi-final on Saturday, was able to get in his straight-sets 6-2 6-1 win over fourth seed Neville Godwin before having to face Anderson in the title showdown.

Van Rensburg, the second seed, put up a torrid struggle before relinquishing the last-four match with Anderson yesterday morning, taking the first set in the tiebreak 7-6 before Anderson fought back to win the match 6-7 6-3 6-2. The last two sets seem relatively easy going for Anderson, but the rallies were many and varied, forcing the winner to work for every point.

In the final, a tired Anderson immediately dropped his serve in the opening game and the classy Klaasen raced away to a 5-1 lead in the first set before breaking Anderson’s serve for the third time to take the set 6-1.

There was the stipulated 45-minute break between the semi-final that Anderson successfully negotiated and the final — there simply wasn’t enough time to delay the final any further than it had already been.

Although his body language improved and the essential concentration needed to execute consistently precise shots began to return — a second wind if you like — Anderson was only able to take a relentless Klaasen to 6-3 against in the second set for the top seed to take the honours 6-1 6-3.

The doubles final provided some cheer for the home crowd when top-ranked South African couple Gareth Greenwood and Dale Michau of Pietermaritzburg showed good feet and quick reflexes against Klaasen and Van Rensburg, but to no avail as the Western Cape pair triumphed

6-3 6-4.

There were moments of brilliance from Michau and Greenwood, with deft touches outwitting there more illustrious singles specialists, but the superior consistency of Klaasen and Van Rensburg won the day in the end.

• A wrap of the Braaiketts junior tournament will appear in tomorrow’s Witness.

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