Koubek serves up SAA Open treat

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

World-acclaimed tennis player Stefan Koubek has entered the R875000 South African Airways Open that starts tomorrow at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium in Durban.

It will be the first time the Austrian tennis star will play in an event in South Africa and he is determined to do well here before the tournament ends on Sunday.

Koubek, who is ranked 62 in the world, was set to be joined by Belgian Christophe Rochus, the No 73 seed, who pulled out yesterday, along with local hope Wesley Moodie.

The left-handed Austrian had a great start to the year by reaching the Chennai final. He defeated former world number one Carlos Moya 6-3 6-1, recording his third dominant victory over a seeded player in as many days.

He beat seventh seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand in the second round and downed Julien Benneteau of France, seeded four, in the quarterfinals.

Koubek is no stranger to South Africa because he was once coached by local Gary Muller.

"After a great first week in Chennai, I'm now looking forward to the next couple of events in Australia," said Koubek after his 6-1 6-3 defeat to Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the Chennai final two weeks ago. "After that I entered the SAA Open in Durban. I've been to Cape Town for holidays before. It's such a nice country and I am always excited to visit a new South African city."