SA Junior Tennis Star Makes Nike Tour Winning Debut

By: 
Mon, 09/12/2013 - 15:22

South Africa’s Richard Thongoana survived a second-set scare to win through to the second round of the NJT International Masters at Club Med, Sandpiper Bay, in the USA on Sunday. The 14-year-old St Stithians scholar defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 in a match that lasted just over two hours. However, it was not good news for 12-year-old Linge Steenkamp who was beaten 6-1 6-0 by Germany’s Luisa Meyer Auf Der Heide.

The remaining two South Africans in the draw will play on Monday. Joubert Klopper will have it all to do when he faces top seed Adam Neff of the US. Neff is coming off a victory in the Eddie Herr International on Sunday. Zani Barnard had a first round bye but she is set to come up against seventh seed Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine.

Speaking about his match Thongoana said: “I think in the second set he changed his game. He started placing the ball well and hit harder. It became difficult for me to know where he was going to hit next.”

Momentum in the second set swung from one player to the other although the Spaniard tended to have the edge all the way to the end. Thongoana found himself down a double break of serve at 2-5 but managed to crawl back to 5-5. The South African had four opportunities to set up a 6-5 lead and serve for the match but Forkina managed to hold and forced the set into a tie-breaker.

Again the Spaniard flew out of the blocks and built up a 5-1 lead but the South African fought back to level at 5-5. At that point Forkina found a good serve which Richard could only scramble back and set the Spaniard up with an easy winner. The ball crossed the net a number of times at 6-5 as both players fought for supremacy but Thongoana handed the set to Forkina when he narrowly missed a passing shot. However, during that point the Spaniard, while stretching for the ball, apparently strained a muscle in his groin. At the interval he took an injury timeout but looked well enough at the start of the third set.

Although he lost his serve in the opening game, Forkina broke back immediately to level at 1-1. From that point on, however, it was all the South African. He got a 2-1 lead when Forkina served a double fault on game point.

Thongoana broke held for 3-1 and then knew the match was his when breaking the Spaniard’s serve again. “When I lost my serve in the second game I thought I was going to be out here a long time. But when I was 4-1 up in the third I felt I really just had to finish him off.” That is exactly what he did, winning the next two games to close out the match.  

Thongoana, who is coached in Johannesburg by Vusa Majola, will have a much tougher contest in the second round where he comes up against second seed Alexei Popyrin of Australia. “I’m expecting a very tough match but I need to be confident, do all the basics right and try my best.”

Round 1

Boys

 Under 14

  1. Dominik Hruncak (SVK) bt Felipe Ordenes (Chi) 6-1 6-1
  2. Nicaise Muamba (Can) bt Vlad Dancu (Rou) 6-3 7-5
  3. Kaloyan Dimitrov (Bul) Charles Tzicas (Bel) 6-2 6-1
  4. Richard Thongoana (RSA) bt Alejandro Fokina (Esp) 6-1 6-7 (2) 6-1
  5. 8-Rudolph Molleker (Ger) bt Yibing Wu (Chn) 6-4 6-3
  6. 5-Juan Otegui (Arg) bt Boris Butulija (Srb) 6-3 6-2
  7. Pavel Semidockikh (Isr) bt Igor Karpovets (Ukr) 6-4 7-5
  8. Jonas Ziverts (Swe) bt Aliaksandr Liaonenka (Blr) 6-4 6-2
  9. Yashai Oliel (Isr) bt Gabriel Currlin (Sui) 6-1 6-4
  10. Andreas Kramer (Aut) bt Alen Avidzba (Rus) w/o (Avidzba sustained a foot injury) 

Under 12

  1. 8-Tom Leblanc-Claverie (Fra) bt Jeffery von der Schulenburg (SUI) 6-1 6-0
  2. Matheus de Almeida (Bra) bt Nini-Gabriel Dica (Rou) 6-4 6-4
  3. Fillip Misolic (Aut) bt David Zelenski (Ukr) 7-5 6-2
  4. 4-Mihailo Popovic (Srb) bt Tamas Cseh (Hun) 6-4 6-2
  5. 6-Wojtek Marek (Pol) bt Rikard Raad (Swe) 6-1 6-4
  6. Jannik Sinner (Ita) bt Roi Ginat (Isr) 6-4 6-2
  7. Sergey Skatov (Rus) bt Gauthier Onclin (Bel) 6-0 6-2
  8. 2-Alexandra Zgirovsky (Blr) bt Osmari Torski (Ger) 6-1 6-0
  9. Yunchaokete Bu (Chn) bt Stipan Madzar (Cro) 0-6 7-6 (6) 6-4
  10. 7-Jack Draper (GBR) bt El Mesbahi Soufiane (Mar) 6-2 6-0
  11. Ajdin Muharemovic (BIH) bt Tycho Korporaal (Ned) 6-4 6-1
  12. Amador Salazar (Chi) bt Tim Tekavec (Slo) 6-1 3-6 6-4
  13. 5-Juan Cerundolo (Arg) bt Ricardo Nunez (Mex) 6-0 6-0
  14. Nicolas Varona (Esp) bt Kristof Minarik (Svk) 6-3 6-0

 Girls

 Under 14

  1. Kalya Day (USA) bt Lauryn John-Baptiste (GBR) 6-1 6-1
  2. Lea Boskivic (Cro) bt Julita (SWE) 6-1 6-1
  3. Judith van Kessel (NED) bt Marcelle Cirino (Bra) 6-0 6-2
  4. Jovana Vukovic (SRB) bt Ariella Curci (Ita) 6-1 7-5
  5. Nefisa Berberovic (BIH) bt Marina Ribera (Esp) 6-3 6-3
  6. 6-Iona Guna (Rou) bt Lilya Hadab (Mar) 4-6 6-2 6-0
  7. Irina Siemers (Bel) bt Csenge Furak (Hun) 6-3 6-1

Under 12

  1. Ana Geller (Arg) bt Oumaima Aziz (Mar) 6-2 6-3
  2. Nina Geissler (Aut) bt Riva Hondiashvili (Isr) 6-1 6-1
  3. Carlota Martinez (ESP) bt Tereza Najmanova (Cze) 6-0 6-1
  4. 7-Alexandra Bakaldina (Sui) bt Valentina Pongruber (Chi) 6-0 6-2
  5. Anna Lahuza (Ukr) bt  Laura Tomic 6-2 6-2
  6. 8-Oleksandra  Oliynykova (Cro) bt Federica Trevisan (Ita) 6-0 6-0
  7. 4-Sabina Dadaciu (Rou) bt Victoria Carlsten (Swe) 6-3 6-2
  8. 5-Hanna Kubarava (Blr) bt Marija Vicic (Slo) 7-6 (1) 6-1
  9. Aida Partid (Mecx) bt 6-Ksenija Tmusic (Srb) 6-2 2-6 6-3

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