Photo: Reg CaldecottNyasha Mharakurwa (ZIM)
Eighteen-year-old Donald Ramphadi was among the players from the host nation to make progress on the opening day of the Airports Company South Africa Gauteng Open, a part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Ramphadi dominated two tiebreaks to defeat his countryman Thabang Lekhanyane 76(2) 76 (2) in the first round of the men's singles.
With all eight seeds having first round byes, Marshall Marsh won the only tthree set men's match of the day, coming from behind to beat Mayenzeke Gwija 57 60 61. Elsewhere, the other six first round matches ended in straight sets as Tshepo Makwela won through to set up a meeting with Japanese top seed Takashi Sanada and Richard Engles eased into the second round, where he will meet fellow Australian and second seed Ben Weekes.
Malaysia's Thani wins though in three sets
Malaysia's Faizatul Thani won the only women's first round match not to feature a South African player as she held off Pauline Helouin of France 63 57 62. Thani plays Dutch second seed Sharon Walraven next,, while German top seed Sabine Ellerbrock will begin her quest to win back-to-back titles in South Africa with a match against Australia's Janet Manns.
The most comprehensive victory among the six women's matches on the opening day belonged to South Africa's Rose van der Meer, who beat Thando Thlatswayo 60 60 to earn a meeting with another of her compatriots, fourth seed Kgothatso Montjane.
Fourth seed Koga exits quad singles
The closest match of the first day was in the quad singles, as Bongani Dlamini edged out fellow South African Stephen Kekai 75 57 76(5). Dlamini will play top seed Lucas Sithole in the quarterfinal after the South African No. 1 enjoyed a first round bye along with second seed Marco Innocenti of Italy.
Takahiro Koga became the first seeded player to exit the ITF 2 Series tournament after a 62 61 loss to Malaysia's Azman Hasan. Britain's Antony Cotterill and Adam Field also reached the last eight after both winning their opening matches without dropping a single game. Meanwhile, a single game was all that Italian third seed Giuseppe Polidori yielded as he booked a quarterfinal against Field.