Soweto Open: It’s not just the tennis

2009-04-21 00:00

THE sister of former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek is one of the more glamourous attractions at the R1 million ITF Soweto Women’s Open, which begins at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

Michaella Krajicek (20), who was ranked 30th in world tennis last February, has been recognised as one of the outstanding women in Holland, but a knee injury kept her off the court for much of 2008 and her ranking dropped to 219th, which was the first time she had been out of the top 100 since 2004. The Netherlands native has begun her comeback and reached the quarter-finals in Memphis earlier this year, and enters the inaugural Soweto Open ranked 136th in the world.

Krajicek, who is likely to be seeded second in Soweto behind Katie O’Brien of Great Britain, is still the top-ranked women’s tennis player in Holland.

Australian Jelena Dokic was among the entries for Soweto but the former world number four, currently ranked 74, pulled out once she was chosen to play in the Australian Fed Cup team.

Natalie Grandin will represent South Africa in this City of Johannesburg-sponsored tournament.

Grandin, ranked 247th in singles, has been performing well in doubles around the world and is currently in Turkey leading the SA Fed Cup team.

Direct Entries: Katie O’Brien (GBR), world number 127, Michaella Krajicek, (NED) 136, Kathrin Woerle (GER) 140, Lauren Albanese (USA) 169, Kristina Kucova (SVK) 174, Georgie Stoop (GBR) 180, Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 183, Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 232, Eva Hrdinova (CZE) 240, Natalie Grandin (RSA) 247, Marinne Giraud, (MRI) 273, Megan Moulton-Levy (USA) 275, Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 284, Lesya Tsurenko (UKR) 287, Dominika Nociarova (SVK) 292, Nikola Frankova (CZE) 302, Naomi Cavaday (GBR) 310, Tamaryn Hendler (BEL) 320, Leonie Mekel (NED) 355, Lena Litvak (USA) 359, Katie Ruckert (USA) 376, Angelika Roesch (GER) 381, Tina Schiechtl (AUT) 409, Nicole Clerico (ITA) 458.

• Jonathan Cook will be at the Soweto Women’s Open next week.

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