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December 11 • 02:04
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Golden moments at the final day of the ACSA Soweto Open 2012



July 06, 2012
The 2nd Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open, sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), part of the ITF World Wheelchair Tennis Tour, takes place from 1 – 4 July 2012 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Tennis Club.

The main attraction on the final day of the ACSA Soweto Open was the Men's Final match between Evans Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi who are 2 of the 4 wheelchair tennis athletes that will be representing SA at the London 2012 Paralympics. These two top performers have known each other for 7 years and have become good friends, although, it was clear to all that the glory of holding the trophy, and the title of SA's No 1 player were enough to bring out the best from both players. SA's top ranked player Evans Maripa started slowly, and despite streaks of brilliance, could never quite match the play of the defending champion Sydwell Mathonsi in the first set. The second set had some impressive tennis, with the crowds certain Maripa was on the come back. Maripa may have left it a little too late, or perhaps it was the support from his young 18 month old daughter and wife that kept Mathonsi focused, and able to clinch the match 6-2, 7-5. Mathonsi retained his title of the ACSA Soweto Open.

In the Men's Second Draw the unseeded 15 year old Thato Tsomole from Hartebeespoortdam's winning streak did not came to an end as he won his 1st tournament by beating the 3rd seed S. Jwara from Umlazi, Kwazulu Natal 6-4, 6-1.

In the ladies final the defending champion Rose van der Meer ranked 35 internationally made no secret of her intentions to again lift the trophy. Marsika Venter, the sixteen year old talent, said "inexperience cost her the match" and van der Meer won 6-2, 6-1.

The Junior title was won by Gift Lekhanyane, the top seed from Alexandra as he defeated Mabel Mankgele 6-3, 6-3. Both winner and runner up in the juniors division are from Filadelfia School, proving that the regional programmes are successful and producing the young top talents as expected. Gift is unbeaten in the Junior draw in 2012.

A total of 67 players are competing in the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open, with the majority of players being from our regional programmes.

The focus for this event, being a Future Level Event, is to give as many players as possible the opportunity to gain world ranking points and experience. It is the perfect environment to introduce new talent to international competitions, and provide them with valuable competitive experience.

Airports Company South Africa continues to support Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and are thrilled to be hosting this event. The tournament gives Airports Company South Africa and WTSA a golden opportunity to showcase our local talent.

Participation in local and international tournaments such as these is made possible by the generous sponsorships offered by Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport.

For more information, please contact Bianca Morkel Tel: 083 386 4002, Fax: 086 651 6664

Email: pr@tennis.co.za. Other resources worth a visit include: www.tennis.co.za; like our Facebook page: WheelchairTennisSA and follow us on Twitter: @WCTennis.

Bianca Morkel

PR Manager - WTSA

0833864002

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