Kruger and Van Zyl reach second round of WIPHOLD International

tennis27 February 2024 16:32
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Marilouise van Zyl © Barco Greeff

Local contenders Isabella Kruger and Marilouise van Zyl stood up for the host nation on Tuesday, progressing safely through to the second round of the WIPHOLD International in Pretoria.

Competing against Maddalena Giordano of Italy in her first-round match, SA's top-ranked player Kruger coasted to a 6-3 6-2 victory.

While Kruger was scheduled to meet Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong in her opening fixture, Karunaratne withdrew due to illness and Giordana was given a spot in the main draw as a 'lucky loser' entry.

Kruger will face American player Jaeda Daniel in the second round of the ITF World Tennis Tour W50 tournament on Wednesday.

Van Zyl, meanwhile, dug deep to beat Mexican qualifier Amanada Elkin Nava.

After losing the first set, the teenager clawed her way back to win 5-7 6-4 6-4, setting up a clash against No 2 seed Gabriela Knutson of the Czech republic in round two.

"The match started off a little bit shaky, but then in the second set I just tried to focus on my weapons and making my first serves, and then I built my confidence back," said 17-year-old Van Zyl.

"Then I got into the zone again and it just went better and better, I got some momentum back and I managed to win the second and third sets.

"The overall match was good. It was a big fight and I'm so proud of myself for making it."

The other three SA players in the main draw were given valuable experience as wildcard entries, but they were unable to reach the second round.

Zoe Kruger lost to No 6 seed Manon Leonard of France (6-0 6-0), while 18-year-old Lilitha Ndungane was defeated by Ekaterina Shalimova of Russia (6-0 6-0), and Hailey Robyn Troup (also 18) put up some brave resistance but ultimately lost to Knutson (6-2 6-2).

In other first-round matches at the W50 tournament in Pretoria, Israeli player Lina Glushko (who won the singles and doubles titles in Pretoria last week) was stunned by Rina Saigo of Japan who earned a 6-2 6-2 victory.

Among the other surprise results in round one, French player Nahia Berecoechea beat Bulgarian No 4 seed Isabella Shinikova 5-7, 6-1, and Daniel defeated Belgian No 5 seed Sofia Costoulas 7-5, 6-2.


Singles First Round

[1] Laura Pigossi (BRA) bt Anastasia Kovaleva 6-4, 6-2

[2] Gabriella Knutson (CZE)bt Hailey Robin Troupe (RSA) 6-2, 6-2

[3] Xiaodi You (CHN) bt Yukina Saigo (JPN) 6-1, 6-1

[6] Manon Leonard (FRA) bt Zoe Kruger (RSA) 6-0, 6-0

[7] Polina Iatchenko bt Kayla Mcphee (AUS) 6-2, 6-3

[8] Hanne Vandewinkel (BEL) bt Savanna Ly-Nguyen (VIE) 6-0, 6-4

Isabella Kruger (RSA) bt Maddalena Giordano 6-3, 6-2

Marilouise Van Zyl (RSA) bt Amanda Carolina Nava Elkin (MEX) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Ekaterina Shalimova bt Lilitha Sithenkosi Ndungane (RSA) 6-0, 6-0

Alexandra Osborne (AUS) by Paris Corley (USA) 6-7, 6-1, 6-2

Alina Charaeva bt Ekaterina Reyngold 7-6, 6-3, 6-3

Rina Saigo (JPN) bt Lina Glushko (ISR) 6-2, 6-2

Jaeda Daniel (USA) bt [5] Sofia Costoulas (BEL) 7-5, 6-2

Clervie Ngounoue (USA) bt Yiming Dang (CHN) 6-3, 6-2

Amelia Waligora (BEL) bt Alyssa Reuger (FRA) 6-2, 6-3

Nahia Berecoechea (FRA) bt [4] Isabella Shinikova 5-7, 6-1