Tennis: South African Hails Lagos Fans' Support

•Ryan Roelofse of South Africa returns a serve to Hiroki Kondo in their quarter final of the Governor’s Cup yesterday. Roelofse won 7-5, 7-6. PHOTO… Emmanuel Osodi

•Ryan Roelofse of South Africa returns a serve to Hiroki Kondo in their quarter final of the Governor's Cup yesterday. Roelofse won 7-5, 7-6. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi

South African Ruan Roelofse was full of praises for spectators who watched his quarter final match against top see, Hiroki Kondo, in the first leg of the 13th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan yesterday.

Twenty-three years old Roelofse created a major upset in the Etisalat/FCMB sponsored tournament when as 7th seed of the competition defeated No. 1 player, Kondo of Japan in straight set of 7-6,7-5.

After the grueling encounter, Roelofse told P.M.NEWS Sports that he was happy that he enjoyed the support of spectators at the venue, a tonic which according to him gave him the match.

“I think the fans gave me their support because I’m from South Africa and I think this really motivated me to win this match. Another thing was that I had played Kondo before at a tourney in Thailand three years ago where I beat him. I knew him. But his game has changed. He was tough today (yesterday),” he said.

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•Ryan Roelofse of South Africa returns a serve to Hiroki Kondo in their quarter final of the Governor's Cup yesterday. Roelofse won 7-5, 7-6. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi
•Ryan Roelofse of South Africa returns a serve to Hiroki Kondo in their quarter final of the Governor’s Cup yesterday. Roelofse won 7-5, 7-6. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi

Reolofse, who played in the final of the competition last year said: “I used to play about 20 to 25 tournaments around the world in a year with money I realised from the prize money of the tourneys I won, because I have no sponsor. Fund has always been a bigger challenge for me, but with what I get in circuits I travel around with it.”

The South African will play Borna Coric of Croatia in the semi final of the men’s singles on Friday, while Andre Gaspar Murta of Portugal will play in the other semi final tie.

In the women’s singles, top seed, Tadeja Majeric of Slovenia will slug it out with Naomi Broady from Britain, while defending champion, Cristina Dinu from Romania takes on Dalila Jakupovic from Slovakia in the second semi final game.

—Damilare Okunola