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Makarova, Blancaneaux – winners

Ekaterina Makarova and Geoffrey Blancaneaux are the new Digicall Futures 1 tennis champions.

The first of three Digicall Futures tennis tournaments played at the Coetzenburg courts of the Stellenbosch University concluded when third seeded Makarova played against her Russian countrywoman Anastasia Shaulskaya, who is seeded seventh, in the final.

Makarova won 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes on court. She took charge of the first set early on but had to battle her way to the front of the second set when she lost her serve first up.

She kept on grinding out the points though and used her opportunities.

“Today was tough. It is always tough when you have to play against a fellow Russian player and she is also one of my best friends, so it was a huge challenge. I am happy with the win. It was important to make a good start.

“It is my first time in South Africa and Stellenbosch is so beautiful. I am looking forward to the next tournament,” said Makarova.

Second seed Blancaneaux from France won his match against the unseeded German Sebastian Prechtel 6-4, 6-0 after one hour and 41 minutes on court.

Blancaneaux started like a house on fire by leading 4-1, but Prechtel fought back like he has done many times this past week.

In the second set though it was all about the Frenchman. It was also clear that Prechtel was running out of steam after various three set matches leading up to the final.

“I’m really happy with the win today. It was tough conditions with the wind, but also my opponent in the first set. I could see he was getting tired in the second set.

“I enjoyed the first week here and am very happy with the way it turned out,” said Blancaneaux.

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