Futures tourneys to expose tennis talent

29 November 2012

Tennis South Africa will host two weeks of international tennis in Potchefstroom in December, and two of South Africa's leading players have thrown their weight behind the tournaments.

Both tournaments, which will run back-to-back from 3 to 16 December at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy on the North West University (NWU) Pukke campus, winclude men's and women's singles and doubles.

There will be a qualifying tournament before each event, which will no doubt be a big attraction to local player. The tournaments will have a prize money purse of R200 000 each, to be shared equally between the men and women.

Rik de Voest

Seasoned South African Davis Cup star Rik De Voest has confirmed his entry for both tournaments. With his current world singles ranking of 214, he is likely to be one of the top seeds.

Ruan Roelofse and Jean Andersen, who have both also represented South Africa in Davis Cup, as well as Keith-Patrick Crowley who is fast making a name for himself on the US Pro Tour, have also confirmed their participation.

Another notable entry in the men's singles is the up-and-coming 19-year-old right-handed Korean star Suk-Young Jeong, who has been earmarked by many as a star of the future.

Chanel Simmonds

In the women's singles, South Africa's second highest world ranked player, Chanel Simmonds, ranked 177th, has entered the tournament and could well top the women’s seeding list.

Tennis South Africa CEO Ian Smith said it was of utmost importance that his association hosted Futures events around the country.

"Futures tournament play a vital role in the development of aspiring professionals. It's the first stage for the top players to play and earn points which will improve their international rankings and take them to the next Challenge level of the pro game."

'The competition is real tough'

Smith said the people of North West can expect some top-class tennis action. "It's common knowledge that to make it as a pro you have to work hard and play hard to earn your break.

"There are so many hopefuls who are so talented at the Futures level and the competition is real tough, so the players really put on their best to crack that break," Smith said.

"It is a privilege to be the host of these prestigious events," said James Stoffberg, Director of NWU-Puksport. "I believe that the players will find our facilities and organisation first class, which will ensure that their stay in Potchefstroom will be enjoyable and of value in their own personal development."

No entry fee

The first tournament, the TSA NWU-Pukke Futures, will be played from 3 to 9 December, with the second tournament, the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy NWU-Pukke Futures, taking place from 10 to16 December. There will be no entry fee for spectators.

Live scoring brought to you by Altech will be available for both tournaments from the qualifying rounds through www.tennissa.co.za.

SAinfo reporter

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South African Davis Cup star Rik de Voest (Photo: Reg Caldecott, Soweto Open)

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