Top player Chanel Simmonds and rising star Zoë Kruger head the list of South Africans receiving wild cards for the first week of the two back-to-back Women’s ITF $25 000 World Tour events, at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus.
Simmonds at no. 336 in world rankings narrowly missed the direct entry cut-off, but still leads the South African charge at this year’s Ilana Kloss International.
The 28-year-old reached the quarter-final round in the first week of the tournament last year after losing to Brit Samantha Sharan.
She advanced to the last-eight stage in the second week, before the tournament was cancelled mid-way through due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kruger was also awarded a wildcard, as well as Suzanie Pretorius. That boosted South Africa’s main-draw representation to three players.
The two tournaments will be Kruger’s first competitive action of 2021 – she last played the W15 Monastir in Tunisia in November 2020.
Pretorius was awarded a main draw wildcard by the North-West University, as part of its reciprocal agreement with Tennis South Africa (TSA).
In addition to the three main draw wild cards, TSA also announced the five women who have been awarded wildcard entries into the qualifying tournament.
Players receiving qualifying wild cards for week 1 of the Ilana Kloss International includes Kelly Arends, Katie Poluta, Delien Kleinhans, Isabella Kruger and Ntokozo Zungu.
The first week of the Ilana Kloss International runs from Monday, February 8, to Sunday, February 14.
The second week takes place from Monday, February 15, to Sunday, February 21.
Both events will take place in a bio-secure bubble, under strict COVID-19 protocols.
Ilana Kloss International wildcards (Week 1):
- Chanel Simmonds
- Zoë Kruger
- Suzanie Pretorius
- Kelly Arends
- Katie Poluta
- Delien Kleinhans
- Isabella Kruger
- Ntokozo Zungu
Photo 1 Caption: South Africa’s leading women’s player, Chanel Simmonds, in action in the 2020 Ilana Kloss International played at the North-West university in Potchefstroom. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: South African rising star Zoë Kruger in action. Photo: Supplied
With editing by gsport