Second-round exits for SA players

2009-02-05 00:00

IT was a disappointing day for South Africa in the SA Tennis Open at Montecasino in Johannesburg yesterday.

The two remaining local hopes, Rik de Voest and Izak van der Merwe, both went out in three sets in the second round after looking like winners and missed quarterfinal berths in this 32-player ATP World Tour 250 event.

France’s Sebastian de Chaunac took care of Van der Merwe 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 7-6 (7/5) while Frederico Gil beat De Voest 4-6 7-5 6-4, and in the late clash top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga accounted for Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-1 6-4.

Van der Merwe’s winning form in recent tiebreakers deserted him when it mattered most yesterday.

De Voest, at five games to three and 40-30, was a point away from beating Gil in straight sets and entering the quarter-finals, but the likeable Portuguese reeled off the next three points to stay in the match. To compound his woes, Gil held serve and broke De Voest again before serving for the set and drawing level.

“Maybe I tried too hard to win,” De Voest said. “Maybe I should have played the percentages at certain moments.”

In the third set, De Voest suffered a setback. “I felt my left calf tighten while serving, which didn’t help,” he said.

After each lost their services in the opening games of the third set, Gil made the decisive break in the fifth game to wrap up the match.

“I hate losing at home, especially when I had earned a match point,” was De Voest’s summing up of what might have been.

The doubles still holds hope for SA. In the first round late Wednesday, top seeds Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie were taken to the wire by wild cards Chris Haggard and Raven Klaasen before winning 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 10-8.

Should a doubles match go to a third set, the first couple to 10 points and with a two-point advantage wins.

Another plus for locals late Wednesday was the upset win of Izak van der Merwe and Fritz Wolmarans over second seeds Eric Butorac and Ross Hutchins.

Play starts at 4 pm today.


Singles – second round: 5-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Marco Chiudinelli (Sui) 6-4 6-4; 4-Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Esp) bt Leonardo Mayer (Arg) 6-4 7-5; Frederico Gil (Por) bt Rik de Voest (Rsa) 4-6 7-5 6-4; Sebastian de Chaunac (Fra) bt Izak van der Merwe (Rsa) 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 7-6 (7/5); 7-Kristof Vliegen (Bel) bt Ivo Minar (Cze) 6-4 6-1; 1-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) vs Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-1 6-4.

Doubles – Second round: Jaroslav Levinsky(Cze)/Jean-Claude Scherrer (Sui) bt Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp)/Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 6-3 6-2; Flavio Cipolla (Ita)/Bjorn Phau (Ger) bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Esp)/Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Esp) 6-3 6-3; David Ferrer (Esp)/Ivan Navarro (Esp) bt 3-Marcel Granollers (Esp)/Santiago Ventura (Esp) 6-3 4-6 13-11; James Cerretani (USA)/Dick Norman (Bel) bt Izak van der Merwe (Rsa)/Fritz Wolmarans (Rsa) 6-4 6-4.

First round: Jeff Coetzee (Rsa)/Wesley Moodie (Rsa) bt Chris Haggard(Rsa)/Raven Klaasen (Rsa) bt 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 10-8; Izak van der Merwe (Rsa)/Fritz Wolmarans (Rsa) bt 2-Eric Butorac (USA)/Ross Hutchins (Gbr) 6-4 7-5; James Cerretani (USA)/Dick Norman (Bel) bt Frederico Gil (Por)/Frank Moser (Ger) 6-4 6-4.

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