Roaring success for the first leg of the KIA Summer Slam Beach Tennis Tour

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The second round of the KIA Summer Slam Beach Tennis Tour is set to commence in the scenic Buffalo Bay outside Knysna today.

The first tournament – which took place in Cape St. Francis and St. Francis Bay between 8 and 10 December 2018 – proved to be as grand as any, with some of the world’s top ranked players participating in the first ever beach tennis tournament in South Africa.

Tournament Director Iain Smith was delighted with the talent on offer in this exciting new initiative. “Tennis South Africa is very excited about the circuit and in particular the fact that a number of top 10 players in the beach tennis rankings elected to come to South Africa and compete in the KIA Summer Slam Beach Tennis Tour,” he said.

“Having the newly crowned number one, Nikita Burmakin, is also very special, as he is the first European outside of Italy to become number one. Michelle Cappelletti and Alessandro Calbucjhi will be the tournament top seeds and both being multiple title winners and world champions showcases the fact that top players want to compete in South Africa. The first leg saw local players able to interact with the best in the world which will help them with their progress to climb the world rankings. If the Cape St. Francis event is anything to go by, then spectators are definitely in for a treat in terms of some world class quality beach tennis!”

The Cape St. Francis leg of the KIA Summer Slam drew to a close with Russia dominating and running away with the titles in both the women’s and men’s doubles finals.

The women’s final saw the top seeds from Russia, Ekaterina Byakina and Regina Livanova, recover from having match points in the second set at 54, to lose the second set 57 and to then finally wrap up the match 64 57 61 with some very consistent play in the third set, proving to be too much for the no 2 seeds Manuel Cunha (POR) & Nina Djordjevic (SRB).

In the men’s final the top seeds ran away with the first set, comfortably breaking the Russian opponents Ringlstetter and Rodriquez Querol to settle at 62. However, the Russian combination were determined to regain momentum and with spectacular dives from all over the court managed to level the match at one set all. Having match points at 54 in the final set and faulting on the serve, it seemed that the number one seeds may have the upper hand, but birthday boy Nikolai Gurev held his nerve and saw the Russian team take a 65 lead. Pressure mounted, and having missed two serves in the 12th game proved costly as the Russian combination of Nikolai Gurev and Ivan Syrov won a thrilling match 26 62 75, ensuring that Russia won both inaugural titles in Cape St. Francis.

The next stop on the KIA Summer Slam Beach Tennis Tour is Buffalo Bay outside Knysna, which kicked off with a clinic for local participating on Tuesday, 12 December.

Entries are still open for the remaining tournaments and can be done online https://www.beachtennis.io/international?month=december. Participants will be able to use complimentary KIA/Turquoise beach tennis paddles at each of the events, should they not have their own.

The KIA Summer Slam beach tennis tour remaining fixtures:

  • 12-14 December 2018:    Buffalo Bay Beach (Knysna)  Prize money: $2500
  • 15-18 December 2018:    Plettenberg Bay                      Prize money: $6500
  • 18-21 December 2018:    Plettenberg Bay                      Prize money: $25000

Entries for the first of the two Plettenberg Bay events costs $75 for non-South African residents and R300 for South African residents. The finals (also to be held at Plettenberg Bay) are $150 for non-South African residents and R300 for South African residents.

The entry form is available online via:

https://www.beachtennis.io/international?month=december

To enter, click on the event that you would like to play in and click on ‘registration’.

For event related queries, contact Iain Smith: ismith@tennissa.co.za or 0839443973 (whatsapp or email preferable).

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