26 April 2012
Former semi-professional footballer Marc McCarroll of Great Britain defeated Gordon Reid to win the men’s singles final at the Acsa South African Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
A day after he had ousted South Africa’s Evans Maripa to reach his first International Tennis Federation (ITF) final, McCarroll faced his doubles partner for the title in an all-British clash.
Scotsman Reid claimed the first set 6-4, but Reid hit back hard to claim the second set 6-2. A break in the sixth game of the final set gave McCarroll his first ITF title, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“I was nervous going into the match,” McCarroll told the ITF, “and made a bunch of unforced errors in the first set, but calmed myself and managed to improve my serve and returns, which helped me close out the match and win my first ITF 1 title.
“South Africa is proving to be a great place for me,” he continued. “I’ve had some real good wins and in the final today, despite losing the first set, I felt that I played well.
“Gordon is a respected opponent, doubles partner and friend and he fought to the bitter end. I won after losing two match points, proving how tough the final was. I am really happy with this win.”
The two men, seeded number one, teamed up later to easily secure the doubles honours, defeating Japanese second seeds Yoshinobu Fujimoto and Takashi Sanado 6-1, 6-4.
Defending champion Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, the second seed and number five in the world, faced top seed and world number four Marjolein Buis for the women’s title.
In a hard-fought contest, Ellerbrock outlasted Buis 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to successfully defend her title. Buis had earlier beaten South African number one KG Montjane 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals.
‘I just love playing in South Africa’
“I just love playing in South Africa. It’s becoming like a second home. I had a lot of pressure with me as defending champion to win again so I could defend my points and maintain my world ranking,” Ellerbrock told the ITF.
Like the men’s doubles finalists, the two singles finalists teamed up once more to easily lift the doubles title as they crushed Katharina Kruger and Sharon Walraven, the top seeds, 6-2, 6-0.
Israel’s Boaz Kramer faced Britain’s Andrew Lapthorne in the final of the quads singles. Kramer had earlier ended the challenge of South Africa’s world number nine Lucas Sithole in the semi-finals, beating him 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.
Unfortunately for Kramer, the top seed proved too tough, with Lapthorne taking the title with a 6-3, 7-6 victory.
While he missed out on the singles title, Kramer was successful in the doubles, teaming up with his countryman Shraga Weinberg to defeated Azman Hasan and Marc McLean 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
There was success for South Africa in the women’s junior category. In all-South African clash, second seed Thabang Lekhanyane upset top seed Mabel Mankgele 6-2, 6-4 to capture the title.
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