JOHANNESBURG, September 26, 2021 (Tennis South Africa Press Release)
Alastair Gray of Great Britain bagged his third consecutive ITF $25,000 World Tennis Tour title in two weeks in South Africa when he defeated Greek fourth seed Michail Pervolarakis to clinch the SA Spring Open men’s singles title at Ellis Park Tennis Courts in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Gray, who had won the Jozi Open singles and doubles titles last week in Emmarentia, had dropped just one set enroute to the final and was stretched in the showdown against Pervolarakis. The 23-year-old Brit recovered from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I’m very happy with myself. Delighted to come through that very difficult final. It’s been a taxing two weeks mentally and physically, so I’m very happy to come through and very proud of myself for pushing through,” said Gray.
The three titles are the first career titles ever for the World No. 1013 in the ATP Rankings
“These are my first two career titles ever. I’m just finishing university in America, this is my first real singles tournament so to come through the first batch with three (titles) from two weeks, I couldn’t have asked for anymore.
“For my career, I’m going to use this as a trampoline to try and spring me forward into higher rankings.”
Charaeva earns women’s title
Russia’s Alina Charaeva won the SA Spring Open women’s title when her opponent in the final, Dutch fourth-seed Richel Hogenkamp, retired due to ill health.
The 19-year-old Charaeva was already in control and leading 2-0 in the first set when Hogenkamp, who won last week’s Jozi Open title in Emmarentia, called it quits, raising doubts over her fitness ahead of the Tuks International in Tshwane next week.
The new women’s singles champion…Alina Charaeva! 🏆 🎉
— SA SPRING OPEN 2021 (@SASpring_Open) September 26, 2021
“It makes me feel really happy to win the title. I really enjoyed the week here and I am happy that I can take the title in the end,” said Charaeva.
“I wish Rachel the fastest recovery as possible because she’s a nice person and a really good player, so I hope she gets well fast and easy.
It is Charaeva’s first title as a pro player and her first on her first visit to South Africa.
“It was my first time here (South Africa) and I didn’t know what to expect, but in the end it’s a really nice place; really nice hotel, really nice tennis club, good organisation, so I really enjoyed it and I hope to come back here in the next years.
“This is actually my first year being a professional, last year I was a junior. For me, it means that I’m on the right way, that me and my team are working well, in a good direction,” added Charaeva.
Final Results Singles
Alina Charaeva (RUS) bt 4-Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 2-0 Hogenkamp ret.
Alastair Gray (GBR) bt 4-Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Jenny Duerst / Nina Stadler (SUI) bt Eva Vedder / Stephanie Visscher (NED) 6-7(5) 7-5 [11-9]
Alec Beckley / Vaughn Hunter (RSA) bt 4-Markos Kalovelonis / Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 6-1, 7-6(5)