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SA aces make history on the beach!

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South Africa scored a historic maiden win at an ITF Beach Tennis World Championships event in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday.

After a narrow 2-1 loss to Cyprus on the opening day, the enthusiastic South African team regrouped and took on a favoured Lithuania on Wednesday.

Opening for South Africa was the women’s doubles team of Bronwyn Davidson and Helga Jeska, who took on the young, talented and world-ranked Lithuanians Viktorija Banaityte and Marija Visockyte.

While in contention for both sets and competing well, in the end, it came down to four deuce points at crucial times that did not go South Africa’s way.

Lithuania beat South Africa 7-5 7-5 to go onto the scoreboard first.

‘Bronwyn and Helga showed considerable improvement from their doubles match against Cyprus yesterday,’ said SA team manager, Iain Smith.

‘Again, it was a case of shot selection at close points, experience and luck, but our girls really put in a good effort.’

In the second rubber, the South African men’s doubles team of Tucker Vorster and Ryan Brookshaw were motivated to take on Lithuanian opponents Skirmantas Macinskas and Eligijus Macinskas, both ranked in the world’s top 100.

After their impressive win on Tuesday against Cyprus, Vorster and Brookshaw were eager to continue their winning ways. The South Africans put on a display of doubles that shocked the opposition and South Africa won 6-4 6-4 to level the tie at 1-1.

So it was all down to the deciding mixed doubles rubber. South Africa named Vorster and Jeska to do duty and the pressure was on them to ensure that South Africa could secure their first win at the World Championships.

In an extremely closely contested first set, South Africa managed to hang on to take the opener on a breaker 7-6 (7-5).  Winning the opening set gave the South Africans added confidence and despite some close and tightly contested points, Vorster and Jeska managed to keep their composure and win the second set 6-4 to give South Africa the historic win.

‘I’m really proud of my team,’ said Smith. ‘Despite being very young and inexperienced, they gave it their all and pulled out the shots when they mattered. It was a very proud moment in Russia,’ said Smith following the 2-1 win over Lithuania.

On Thursday South Africa are up against Thailand.

RESULTS
South Africa bt Lithuania 2-1

Women’s doubles: Bonnie Davidson/Helga Jeska (SA) lost to Viktorija Banaityte/Marija Visockyte (LTU) 5-7 5-7

Men’s doubles: Tucker Vorster/Ryan Brookshaw (SA) bt Skirmantas Macinskas/Eligijus Macinskas (LTU) 6-4 6-4

Mixed doubles: Tucker Vorster/Helga Jeska (SA) bt Skirmantas Macinskas/ Viktorija Banaityte (LTU) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4


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