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Western Province Open: Muller and van Niekerk Victorious On Debuts

Lizelle Muller and Dewald van Niekerk both secured victory whilst on debut on the Tour this week at the Western Province Open in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Challenger 3 level event, held at the Western Province Cricket Club, was restricted to domestic-only entries due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Muller was the No.5 seed for the women’s draw, and was featuring in her first ever tournament on the PSA Tour, despite being 36-years-old. That didn’t stop her, though, as she came through the entire event without dropping a game.

En route to the title, she downed three of the top four seeds, including top seed Teagan Leigh Roux in straight games at the semi-final stage.

Prior to that, Muller had gotten the better of Shelomi Truter in the first round, before defeating No.4 seed Bongi Seroto, also in three games, in the last eight.

The final saw her go up against No.2 seed Jenny Preece, but once again, the 36-year-old was too good, and she won out in 32 minutes to secure a wonderful victory.

The men’s event also saw the top seed knocked out by the eventual winner in the semi-finals, as Dewald van Niekerk took out Jean-Pierre Brits, the World No.135, in a four-game battle.

Van Niekerk, who like Muller, was also appearing on the Tour for the first time, overcame challenges from Kundanji Kalengo and No.5 seed Ruan Olivier in the early rounds before getting the better of the top seed in the last four.

The 23-year-old, who only joined the PSA Tour just prior to the pandemic, came up against No.3 seed Christo Potgieter in the final, and came from 2-1 down, winning both the fourth and fifth games by a scoreline of 11-7 to secure his first title.

Results: Western Province Open
Men’s Final
[4] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) bt [3] Christo Potgieter (RSA) 3-2: 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (69m)

Women’s Final
[5] Lizelle Muller (RSA) bt [2] Jenny Preece (RSA) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-4 (32m)

Men’s Semi-Finals
[4] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) bt [1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 3-1: 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (50m)
[3] Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt [8] Joshua van der Wath (RSA) 3-0: 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (39m)

Women’s Semi-Finals
[5] Lizelle Muller (RSA) bt [1] Teagan Leigh Roux (RSA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (37m)
[2] Jenny Preece (RSA) bt Taryn Emslie (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (18m)

Men’s Quarter-Finals
[1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) bt Tristen Worth (RSA) 3-1: 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4 (37m)
[4] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) bt [5] Ruan Olivier (RSA) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5 (53m)
[3] Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt [6] Gary Wheadon (RSA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (22m)
[8] Joshua van der Wath (RSA) bt [2] Blessing Muhwati (ZIM) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 12-10 (30m)

Women’s Quarter-Finals
[1] Teagan Leigh Roux (RSA) b [7] Makgosi Peloakgosi (RSA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (20m)
[5] Lizelle Muller (RSA) bt [4] Bongi Seroto (RSA) 3-0: 11-0, 11-1, 11-1 (21m)
Taryn Emslie (RSA) bt [3] Tayla Diepenbroek (RSA) 3-2: 13-11, 4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 (47m)
[2] Jenny Preece (RSA) bt [8] Mariska Wiese (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (19m)

Men’s Round One
[1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) bt Jean-Pierre Van Der Merwe (RSA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-2, 1-11, 11-8 (35m)
Tristen Worth (RSA) bt [7] Makho Ntuli (RSA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 12-10 (31m)
[5] Ruan Olivier (RSA) bt Reuel Videler (RSA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3, 11-6 (21m)
[4] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) bt Kundanji Kalengo (ZAM) 3-1: 11-13, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11 (62m)
[3] Christo Potgeiter (RSA) bt Hayden Worth (RSA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (18m)
[6] Gary Wheadon (RSA) bt Sipho Ncube (RSA) 3-2: 11-4, 11-13, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 (50m)
[8] Joshua van der Wath (RSA) bt Sandile Masondo (RSA) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (33m)
[2] Blessing Muhwati (ZIM) bt Jonty Matthys (RSA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-4, 11-9 (31m)

Women’s Round One
[7] Makgosi Peloakgosi (RSA) bt Jordyn Campbell (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-5 (15m)
[5] Lizelle Muller (RSA) bt Shelomi Truter (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-1 (15m)
[4] Bongi Seroto (RSA) bt Megan Shannon (RSA) 3-1: 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (29m)
[3] Tayla Diepenbroek (RSA) bt Elske Garbers (RSA) 3-1: 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (31m)
Taryn Emslie (RSA) bt [6] Keschia Scorgie (RSA) 3-1: 11-8, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7 (35m)
[8] Mariska Wiese (RSA) bt Jess McDonald (RSA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-0 (20m)
[2] Jenny Preece (RSA) bt Juannete Le Roux (RSA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (18m)

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