Of our three players in the top 200 ATP Tour rankings, Izak van der Merwe was the only player to move up when the weekly rankings came out on Monday.
Van der Merwe moved up three spots to 140 while our top-ranked player, Kevin Anderson, stayed put at position 40, his career-high spot, after winning the SA Open tournament earlier this month. Rik de Voest slipped two spots down the rankings to 140th.
Van der Merwe’s schedule until April, includes the Delray Beach qualifying tournament, the Dallas Challenger event, Indian Wells Qualifying, Miami qualifying, the Columbia Challenger and then back home for the Johannesburg qualifier.
Van der Merwe was one of three South Africans who lost in qualifying for the $442,500 Delray Beach event. He went down 6-4 6-2 to American Alex Kuznetsov. Fritz Wolmarans lost to Donald Young, conceded the first set 6-3 and was 1-0 down in the second before he retired injured.
Raven Klaaasen was the third of the trio to go down, losing 7-6 (1) 3-6 6-3 to Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.
Meanwhile fifth-seeded Anderson has a first-round bye at Delray Beach and will play either France’s Florent Serra or American wildcard Ryan Harrison.
On the women’s front our top-ranked women’s player, Chani Scheepers failed to make it past qualifying at the Qatar Ladies Open, going out to Belgium’s 105th ranked Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets 7-5 7-6 (4). Still, Scheepers will be heartened by the fact that she has moved up another 10 spots on the world rankings and is now sitting pretty in 68th spot, 39 places higher than where she ended the 2010 season.