Stars arrive for SA Open

2008-02-11 00:00

A WINDY East London greeted top seed Ivan Ljubicic yesterday as he arrived at the Selborne Park courts for the SA Airways Tennis Open.

With the first round starting today, the Croatian said he was excited to be in the country and looking forward to the SAA Tennis Open.

“In any tournament being the number one seed brings pressure with it, but in the past I have dealt with it well,” he said.

“Two years ago I was number three in the world [behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal], but ill-health hampered me last year, so I dropped down [currently world number 24]. Now that I’m fit again I am determined to climb the rankings and the SAA Open is a step on that route.”

The top South African seed Rik de Voest (world 132) said that he loves playing in SA.

“I thrive on playing at home, whereas other guys say there’s too much pressure in your own country,” he said. “I heard that tickets are already sold out on certain days, so the SA guys will have a lot of backing.”

A number of top players were only due to arrive in East London last night and today, so much of the first-round action begins tomorrow.

Results from the finals in the qualifying tournament:

Finals:

1-Lamine Ouahab (ALG) bt Rohan Weideman 6-3 6-4

2-Marcus Sarstrand (SWE) bt 6-Jurgens Strydom (NAM) 7-5 7-5

3-Johan Brunstrom (SWE) bt Heinrich Heyl 6-2 7-5

4-Denys Molchanov (UKR) bt wc-Conrad Hurter 7-5 2-6 6-3. Winners qualify for the main draw.

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