POTCHEFSTROOM, February 18, 2021 (TSA Press Release)
South African world-acclaimed doubles player Raven Klaasen and his partner Ruan Roelofse advanced to the men’s doubles finals of the Potch Open on Thursday.
The top seeded South African pair won through to the finals of the ATP Challenger 80 event when they outplayed third seeds Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia and Mark Vervoort from the Netherlands 6-4, 4-6, 12-10.
Klaasen and Roelofse looked in charge in the opening set, winning the set 6-4 but the Dutch-Russian pair fought back to claim the second set before the South African top seeds came through in the deciding match tie-break.
In the final on Saturday, Klaasen and Roelofse will play the winner of the semifinal to be played on Friday – either unseeded pair of Julien Cagnina of Belgium and Zdenek Klar from the Czech Republic, or unseeded South African wildcards Vasilios Caripi and Vaughn Hunter.
In the men’s singles event, Jenson Brooksby provided a major upset of the day when he ousted the second seed and last week’s champion, Benjamin Bonzi from France, out of the tournament in the second round.
The 20-year-old US-American toppled the tournament favourite 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by Bonzi.
Brooksby will next face Turkish seventh seed Cem Ilkel, who edged out Chun-hsin Tseng of Taiwan 7-6(3), 7-5 in the second round.
Super performance from 🇺🇸Jenson Brooksby!💪
The American 20-year-old upsets second seed and last week’s champion 🇫🇷Benjamin Bonzi 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal clash with 🇹🇷Cem Ilkel.#PotchOpen I #ATPChallenger pic.twitter.com/Q4YxIYsVU1
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) February 18, 2021
Meanwhile, British fourth seed Liam Broady had no trouble in sweeping aside Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
Broady will now face unseeded Spanish Adrian Menendez-Maceiras for a place in the semi-final round.
Menendez-Maceiras ended South African teen sensation Kholo Montsi’s journey in the Potch Open on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
The 18-year-old Montsi earned his first win at the ATP Challenger level on Tuesday when he edged out Canadian sixth seed and former world number 92 Brayden Schnur.
Simmonds advances at Ilana Kloss International
In the Ilana Kloss International, South Africa’s leading women’s player Chanel Simmonds swept past Eden Silva from Britain in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event.
Simmonds will face Czech Republic’s Jesika Maleckova for a place in the semifinal.
Hungarian fourth seed Reka-Luca Jani came back from the brink to claim her spot in the quarterfinal round.
A rusty Jani overcame Miriam Kolodziejova of Czech Republic 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 to set up a clash with Canadian Carol Zhao.
Zhao eliminated South African 15-year-old Isabella Kruger in a three-set thriller. Zhao ended Kruger’s good run with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a match that lasted 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Elsewhere, Dutch top seed Lesley Kerkhove eased past Sandra Samir of Egypt 6-2, 6-0 and will play Kathinka Deichmann in the quarterfinal round.