The dramatic match between South African top junior Kholo Montsi and Italian seventh-seeded Marco Brugnerotto was a blockbuster match for the SA Spring Open. In the end, Montsi dug deep for the 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(4) win, to advance to the second round of the ITF $15 000 Transition Tour event in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
The match which played on Court 2 at the ‘old lady of tennis’ - Ellis Park Tennis Courts didn’t start the way the 16-year-old and spectators, might have hoped for in the opening round. The seventh-seeded Italian took the first set and had the 16-year-old Montsi’s growing fan base worrying. In the crowd was Bafana Bafana and SuperSport United midfielder Dean Furman who paid a special visit to the Ellis Park to support the youngster.
But the giant-killer Montsi who won his first Grade A title last week in Cape Town knew better and staged a fight-back. He had to win a contentious over three-hour first round match to advance to the next round.
Kholo will next face countryman Vaughn Hunter for a place in the quarter-final round.
Men’s second seed David Pichler of Austria easily booked his place in the second round, dispatching Ruben Konings from Netherlands in straight sets 6-0 6-0.
South African sixth-seeded Lance-Pierre du Toit also advanced after edging out Zimbabwe’s Muzi Sibanda 6-1 6-3.
In the women’s event, second seed Merel Hoedt from Netherlands dismantled South Africa’s Marne Dercksen 6-0 6-0 to move to the next round.
Wheelchair tennis players began their SA Spring Open campaign on Wednesday and notable players who booked their places in the next round included promising star Mpho Mhlongo who edged out Ishamael tshipuke 6-3 7-6(5). Thato Tsomole, Tiisetso Motaung and Limpopo’s Brilliant Mabaso also advanced.
2-David Pichler (AUT) bt Ruben Konings (NED) 6-0 6-0
6-Lance-Pierre Du Toit (RSA) bt Muzi Sibanda (ZIM) 6-1 6-3
Kholo Montsi (RSA) bt 7-Marco Brugnerotto (ITA) 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(4)
Arsenije Zlatanovic (SBR) bt Emmanuel Luria (ISR) 6-1 6-2
Courtney Lock (ZIM) bt Munashe Chingono (ZIM) 6-2 6-2
Michael-John Every (CUW) bt Len Schouten (NED) 7-6(5) 7-5
Arthur Cazaux (FRA) bt Rikhardt Bierman (RSA) 6-2 7-5
Jordan Hasson (ISR) bt Luis Britto (BRA) 6-0 6-3
2-Merel Hoedt (NED) bt Marne Dercksen (RSA) 6-0 6-0
6-Ashmitha Easwwaramurthi (IND) bt Nicole Viljoen (RSA) 6-4 6-0
Stephanie Kent (USA) bt Sri Reddy (IND) 7-6(3) 6-2
Mikayla Faure (RSA) bt Adi Gavish (ISR) 6-4 4-6 7-5
Maria Viviani (ITA) bt Shannon Cox (RSA) 6-1 6-1
Alexandra Riley (USA) bt Mbali Langa (RSA) 6-2 6-1
Hili Kronzon (ISR) bt Isabella Weatherhead (RSA) 6-1 6-0
Kristin Younes (ISR) bt Clara Vlasselaer (BEL) 6-3 7-5
Mpho Mhlongo (RSA) bt Ishmael Tshipuke (RSA) 6-3 7-6(5)
Mzwanele Thentsi (RSA) bt Nicolaas Otto (RSA) 6-0 6-1
Sibonelo Qwabe (RSA) bt Phaka Tlou (RSA) 6-4 6-4
Tiisetso Tlou (RSA) bt Mgambi Aviwe (RSA) 6-3 7-5
Brilliant Mabaso (RSA) bt Siyabulela Mahlikihla (RSA) 6-4 6-3
Thato Tsomole (RSA) bt Mncedi Zenani (RSA) 6-2 6-2
Benito Vuma (RSA) bt Aobakwe Makgotlo (RSA) 6-4 3-6 7-5
Siyabonga Ndumo (RSA) bt Alfred Gaje (RSA) 6-2 2-6 6-1