Bouwer makes KeyHealth Series final

Neale Emslie

RISING EP tennis star Kaylin Bouwer had to withstand a spirited fightback by Angela Georgieva before sealing her berth in today’s under-14 singles final in the Eastern Province leg of the KeyHealth Series at PE Club yesterday.

Bouwer was one of several EP players involved in the later rounds of the singles events, with Monre Lerm going down in a three-setter in the boys’ U16 singles, and Janre Viljoen and Heinrich Willemse booking their spots in the semifinals of the U14 singles. Those semifinals will be played this morning.

The girls’ U14 singles final promises to be a tough challenge for Bouwer, who is up against the top-seeded Boland player Corin de Waal. While Bouwer was pushed in the second set yesterday, De Waal moved comfortably through to the title round.

That was the trend, too, of the early stages in Bouwer’s clash with Georgieva, but the Gauteng player fought back strongly in the second set to extend her higher-ranked opponent. Despite lacking the pace of Bouwer’s groundstrokes, Georgieva led for much of the set before the EP girl managed to force a tiebreaker.

Again, Georgieva was up 3-1, but Bouwer then dug in to reel off the next six points for a 6-0 7-6 victory.

Lerm conceded the first set in his U16 clash with Nikolai Manchev, but came back to take the second set 6-2. The match was in the balance in the decider, but Lerm dropped his serve to trail 5-3 and although he broke back immediately, Manchev held on for a 6-3 2-6 6-4 triumph.

In the U14 singles, Willemse and Viljoen both won in straight sets and will aim to maintain their momentum in this morning’s semis. Fortunately, they are at opposite sides of the draw so will not face each other in the last four.

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