Kruger edged by Paquet in Wiphold international opener

tennis15 March 2023 15:20
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Isabella Kruger © Tennis SA

While South African players put up a fight, the powerful foreign contingent took control on Wednesday's second day of the WIPHOLD International, a $60 000 prize-money tournament in Pretoria.

In the opening round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) event, second seed Chloe Paquet of France was nearly stunned by local favourite Isabella Kruger, but she managed to hold off the South African teenager for a narrow 6-4, 7-6(6) victory.

"It was a good match. We played a lot of tough points and long rallies," said Kruger, who reached the quarterfinals of the junior girls' division at last year's Wimbledon Championships.

"I think in the first set she was a little more dominant and I made some mistakes, but I started fighting back and in the second set I was able to keep my momentum... so it was a tough fight but I'm really happy I got the experience and the opportunity to play against her (Paquet). It was a really good match for me and I'll take the positives from it."

There was no luck, however, for Paquet's compatriot, No 3 seed Harmony Tan, who lost 4-6, 3-6 to Israeli player Lina Glushko.

Sachia Vickery, the No 4 seed, progressed safely through to the second round by securing a convincing 6-0, 6-1 win over Belgian opponent Tilwith di Girolami.

Meanwhile, the SA pairing of Erin McKenzie and Tanika Panaino were eliminated by No 3 seeds Glushko and American partner Emina Bektas (the singles and doubles champion at last week's Ilana Kloss International) who earned a dominant 6-0, 6-1 victory.

Tilwith and Belgian partner Clara Vlasselaer were also in fine form, coasting to a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Kagiso Ledwaba and Arili Boshoff to keep their title hopes alive.



[2] Chloe Paquet (FRA) bt Isabella Kruger (RSA) 6-4, 7-6(6)

[4] Sachia Vickery (USA) bt [Q] Tilwith Di Girolami (BEL) 6-0, 6-1

Emina Bektas (USA) bt Jenny Duerst (SUI) 6-3, 6-4

[Q] Alina Korneeva (RUS) bt [Q] Sandra Samir 6-1, 6-1

[Q] Georgina Garcia-Perez (ESP) bt Ashley Lahey (USA) 6-4, 6-3

Robbe Alice (FRA) bt [7] Valeentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1

Lina Glushko (ISR) bt [3] Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-4, 6-3


[3] Emina Bektas (USA)/ Lina Glushko (ISR) Bt Erin Mckenzie/ Tanika Tyra Panaino (RSA) 6-0, 6-1

Tilwith Di Girolami/ Clara Vlasselaer (BEL) Bt Arili Boshoff/ Kagiso Ledwaba (RSA) 6-1, 6-0

Alina Korneeva (RUS)/ Sandra Samir (EGY) Bt Lauryn John-Baptiste/ Eliz Maloney (GBR) 6-2, 1-6, [10-8]