Wild cards announced for SAA Tennis Open
03 February 2008 (14:58)
Raven Klaasen © Reg Caldecott
The South African Tennis Association (SATA) confirmed Sunday morning the three remaining wild card spots for the forthcoming SAA Tennis Open to be played at Selborne Park Stadium in East London from 11-17 January 2008. The three players will join world number 22, Ivan Ljubicic as the four wild cards in the main draw direct.
They are Raven Klaasen, Izak Van der Merwe and Ruan Roelofse all from South Africa.
This announcement guarantees at least six South African players in the main draw of the tournament.
Klaasen, van der Merwe and Roelofse join fellow South African direct acceptances Rik De Voest, Wesley Moodie and Kevin Anderson in the main draw.
The winner of Saturday’s Cape Classic in Cape Town Raven Klaasen, a former South African Davis Cup player will make his first ATP Tour main draw appearance.
Van der Merwe who like Klaasen has represented his country in Davis Cup was the highest ranked South African on the alternate list. His wild card grant will prevent Van der Merwe from having to contest the challenging qualifying tournament for the remaining main draw spots next weekend.
Roelofse, according to Tournament Director and CEO of SATA, Ian Smith earned his wild card spot through his “talent” and “dedication”.
“Ruan is one of our countries brightest prospects. His commitment to South African tennis and good form of late helped us make the decision to award him with a wild card. SATA are committed through this event to give our promising players of the future a chance of breaking through onto the tour ATP Tour. Hopefully Ruan will take up the opportunity given to him and make that important break” said Smith.