SAA Open poised to sizzle

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The SAA Open, one of the major tennis tournaments in the country, is set to keep spectators spellbound when it starts next week.

The event, suspended for seven years following a lack of sponsorship, begins at the Selborne Park Stadium in East London from February 11 to 17.

Three promising South African tennis stars were given the three remaining wild card spots for the event.

They are Raven Klaasen, Izak van der Merwe and Ruan Roelofse who will join world No 22 Ivan Ljubicic as the four wild cards in the main draw.

The announcement guarantees South Africa at least six players in the main draw because Klaasen, Van der Merwe and Roelofse join fellow South Africans Rik de Voest, Wesley Moodie and Kevin Anderson.

Van der Merwe, who like Klaasen has represented South Africa in the 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.

Bright prospect Roelofse earned his wild card spot through his "talent" and "dedication".