Warm weather, hot tennis on day one of Braaiketts Open at Kershaw

2010-01-07 00:00

DAY one of the Braaiketts KZN Open and Junior Tennis Championships at Kershaw Park saw the opening rounds take place in good weather yesterday, although the courts heated up later on.

Seventh seed Pieter Joubert of the Western Cape and Tom Macquet were involved in an exciting KZN Open first-rounder, Joubert hitting big winners, but plenty of unforced errors kept the Hillcrest man interested, the seed eventually coming out 6-3 6-4.

Two unseeded Durbanites, Andrew Junkuhn and Richard Cowden, had a ding-dong battle. Junkuhn, the veteran, played extremely well in the first set in cool conditions, winning it 6-3. The temperature rose and Cowden started to play tighter, putting Junkuhn under pressure, inevitable errors the product in a 3-6 6-2 6-1 final analysis.

Fifth seed Pieter Calitz encountered a tough nut in young Steven Havenga from Gauteng. The first set was a cliffhanger, the experienced Calitz winning it 7-6, before the veteran took the second 6-2 in a set that was much closer than the score suggested.

Pietermaritzburg’s unseeded Gareth Greenwood won impressively against Durbanite Kevin Essery without dropping a game. Eighth seed Boyd Michau of Pietermaritzburg also won comfortably, as did Gauteng’s Paul Anderson, while the Free State’s Alex Zietsman had a tight one against Jonothan Hills of Gauteng, before triumphing 7-5 7-6. Others smiling after day one were Brett and Ross Lagerwall, Mark Butlin, sixth seed Rikus de Villiers and veteran Bruce Young

Today’s last 16 promises excitement, with Court two the obvious place to be as top seed Raven Klaasen tackles the fighter that is Gareth Greenwood at 9 am, before third seed BJ van Rensburg crosses swords with Gauteng’s underrated Paul Anderson at 11 am.

In the boys’ U10, favourite Robert Searle got off to an excellent start, while the evenly matched boys’ U12 saw Nikolai Manchev, James Redfern and Michael Darroch the pick in Section A. There was a big upset in Section B when favourite James Strachan lost his opener 5-4 (best of nine games) to Lukas Cronjé.

Strachan, a talented young sportsman, can start slowly, and although he has lots to do he’s still right in there. Others in the mix are Matthew Bentley, Don-Don Paterson, Ryan Slotow and Matthew Kiln.

Musa Mpondi dominates Section A of the boys’ U14, while Mikhail Modi and Axel Cronjé have performed well. Section B is wide open with Keegan Foss, Dean Adams, Jayden Rossler and Andrew Darroch the pick.

Out-and-out favourite Bryan Boshoff has started the boys’ U18 well, as has Chris Walker.

The girls’ U10 is a lottery with possibly Jessica Redfern the best at this early stage, while Tessa van der Merwe, Sarah Grenfell (Section A), Zandi Powell and Sarah Mayne (Section B) caught the eye in the girls’ U12 division.

Section A of the girls’ U14 sees Jenna Davidson, Bianca Birkenstock and Rachel Barnard standing out, with Nikki Deenik and Georgie Willows shining in Section B. The girls’ U18 has Jodi Davidson and Jennifer Slotow well ahead in Section A, with the outcome of Section B looking to rest between Liezel Birkenstock and Mandy Mallen.

MATCHES TO WATCH

Court 2 (9 am) 1-Raven Klaasen vs Gareth Greenwood; (11 am) 3-BJ van Rensburg vs Paul Anderson.

Court 1 (11 am) 5-Pieter Calitz vs Richard Cowden.

Court 5 (11 am) 6-Rikus de Villiers vs Brett Lagerwall.

Court 6 (9 am) 4-Hendrik Coertzen vs Alex Zietsman; (11 am) 2-Ruan Roelofse vs Bruce Young.

Doubles quarterfinals in the afternoon.

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