Grand Slam take healthy five-point lead into Vijay League second round-Auto-Equip Car Wash Open tournament in final straight


Grand Slam, led by former Australian national team coach Tim Horpinitch, go into the second round of the Vijay Construction-sponsored league with a healthy five-point lead after four wins and a draw in five matches for 14 points.

Seychelles Tennis Association chairman John Adam's team Aces are currently second with nine points following two wins, two draws and a defeat.

Third-placed Spitfire have eight points, while El Nino and Tennis Club 2000 are locked on six points, but the former lead with a superior game difference.
With just two points following two draws and three defeats in five games played, The Blues, who performed below expectations during the first round, carry the weight of the table.

They have to start hitting the balls right if they are to finish among the top-four at the end of the two-round league and qualify for the cross-knockout phase, which starts at the semifinal stage.

It is to note that four-time finalists Spitfire are the defending champions after beating Aces 4-1 in last year's final to claim a second Vijay League title in four years.

Spitfire collected their first success in 2001 but were denied back-to-back championship win in 2002 by Rovers Side-Out.
Tennis Club 2000 won the title in 2000, while defunct Challengers triumphed during the first edition in 1999.

Final straight

Meanwhile, the inaugural edition of the Auto-Equip Car Wash Open tournament has entered the final straight with the quarterfinals and semifinals.
In the women's singles, Kanté twin sisters Zenab and Fatim are likely to meet in Saturday's final but first, they have to overcome the challenges of the other two semifinalists.

In the semifinal, Fatim, who beat Jourdanne Mellie 2-0 (6-1 6-1) in the second round and Peggy Chang-Tave 2-0 (6-3 6-4) in the quarterfinal, will meet young Clyvie Delpeche who collected wins over Linda Samson 2-1 (6-4 6-7 6-2) and Ella René 2-0 (6-3 6-2).

Zenab, a winner against Gloria Lauro 2-0 (6-1 6-1) and Damienne Morel 2-0 (6-1 6-1), will take on former First Lady Sarah René who eliminated Annabelle Constance 2-0 (6-0 6-0) and walked over Stephanie Ah-Shung.

Three of the four men's semifinalists have been known, while the identity of the fourth will be revealed today when Ronny Ah-Shung play Darryl Nourrice.
The winner of the Ah-Shung/Nourrice clash will meet Steven Rideau-Mein who beat Mervyn Laporte 2-0 (6-1 6-1), Selwyn Knowles 2-0 (6-4 1-0 {abandoned}) and André Derjacques 2-1 (6-4 5-7 6-3) on the way to reaching the semis.

The other semifinal will pit Bernard Mein against Anthony Brioche. Mein eliminated Carlo Lauro 2-1 (6-2 3-6 6-4), Darren Dine (6-4 7-6) and Maxwell Fock-Tave 2-0 (6-3 6-4) to book a place in the last-four stage.
As for Brioche, he was seeded straight into the second round before getting the better of his father Philip on a 2-1 (6-2 5-7 6-4) score and whitewashing Stefan Romain 2-0 (6-2 6-4).

The men's and women's singles semifinals have been scheduled for tomorrow, while the finals will be played on Saturday, starting at 4 p.m. at the Roche Caïman venue.
The men's doubles quarterfinals were to be played Tuesday July 20, while the mixed doubles finalists will be known today (Wednesday).

In today's semifinalists, the duo of Tim Horpinitch and Clyvie Delpeche will meet the pair of Anthony Brioche and Fatim Kanté, while Steven Rideau-Mein will team up with Marie-May Isnard to clash with the duo of André Derjacques and Zenab Kanté.

G. G.



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