6 March 2012South Africa’s Kevin Anderson captured the second ATP Tour title of his career on Sunday when he defeated Australia’s Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 7-6 to win the Delray Beach International Championships. Previously, Anderson lifted the South African Open title in Johannesburg in 2011.“It feels fantastic. It’s my first one in the United States, which is great,” Anderson told the ATP Tour’s website.“I feel apart from South Africa, this is my new home. My wife Kelsey was here for the weekend.”Former winnersFormer winners of the title include, among others, Lleyton Hewitt, Stefan Koubek Tommy Haas, Mardy Fish, and Juan Martin del Potro.The victory lifted Anderson up to 30th in the world rankings and came not long after he had slipped a little to 37th a month ago after being sidelined by an injury.The tall South African was seeded seventh for the tournament in Delray Beach and had to overcome some tough matches to make it through to the final. It all began relatively easily with a 6-4, 6-1 over Austin Krajicek, but in the second round Anderson faced Xavier Malisse, the champion in 2005 and 2007. The match went to three sets, with Anderson claiming a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory.Wonderful contestIn the quarterfinals, Anderson faced fourth seed Andy Roddick. In a wonderful contest, the South African star fought back from a set down and saved three match points on his way to a superb 2-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4 win.Anderson’s reward was a semi-final showdown with top seed and world number 11 John Isner. Like the showdown with Roddick, the match pitted two big servers against one another.Tie-breakerIt proved to be a very tight contest, but Anderson broke Isner once in the first set and the big American served a double fault in the second set tie-breaker, which was enough for Anderson to triumph 7-5, 7-6 as Isner dropped a tie-breaker for only the second time in 11 tie-breakers this year.Anderson faced Marinko Matosevic in the final after the Australian became only the second player in the 20-year history of the event to make it through qualifying to the title-decider. The Croatian-born player had scored some impressive wins himself on his way to the last two.He solved the problem of the big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the first round, winning 6-3, 6-4, and then defeated sixth-seed Alexander Bogomolov 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.Winning streakIn the quarterfinals he saw off 2010 champion Ernests Gulbis 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to set up a semi-final match against Israel’s Dudi Sela. After a very hardfought contest, Matosevic emerged a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 victor to take his winning streak to 12 matches.After his victory in the final, which lasted just short of two hours, Anderson said his mental approach had played a big role in his success. He told the ATP Tour: “I think at the end, I felt I was mentally composed throughout [the tournament]. I didn’t let any patches of bad tennis affect my mindset [this week].”‘I think we have done well’On court, after receiving the winner’s trophy, Anderson paid tribute to his coach, Louis Vosloo, saying: “Thanks for all the patience. Each day I try to work as hard as I can. I know I can be pretty difficult sometimes, but I think we have done well, so let this be the second [title] of many.”He also thanked his parents for the opportunity that they had given him to play tennis and thanked his wife of three months Kelsey, whom he met when both were students at the University of Illinois.“Thanks for coming out, I love you, and I’m so glad you were here to share this with me,” Anderson said to her.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
10 August 2016Team South Africa has begun its Rio Olympics campaign this week, and among the 137 athletes competing this year are some of the country’s outstanding female athletes, representing a wide range of sporting disciplines. To celebrate Women’s Month, here is a look at five of the best.Caster Semenya – athleticsTrack athlete Caster Semenya will be representing SA in Rio 12-21 August. Do us proud, @caster800m! #teamSArise pic.twitter.com/5U0ifXjeP1— SSISA (@Sportscience_sa) August 3, 2016Mokgadi Caster Semenya was born in Ga-Masehlong village, close to Polokwane, in 1991. Over the last six years she has become South Africa’s most high profile international athlete.A natural middle-distance runner, Semenya is considered a world-class champion, winning gold in the 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships and silver medals at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In Rio this year, she is on course for finally getting the gold medal.While a controversial figure off the track, with debate about her sex causing her to leave competitive running until 2010. However, Semenya has silenced critics with world-class performances and a shy, humble demeanour that hides a fiery will to compete and win. British magazine New Statesman included Semenya in a list of 50 People That Matter 2010, calling her “an inspiration to gender campaigners around the world”.In 2012, Semenya was awarded South African Sportswoman of the Year Award at the South African Sports Awards in Sun City. She received the bronze Order of Ikhamanga national honour in 2014, recognised for her contributions to South African sport.Her mind is now set on a Rio Olympics triumph this year, beginning her campaign for 800m gold on Wednesday, 17 August, with the whole of South African behind her.Sunette Viljoen – athleticsSouth African javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen was born in 1983 in Johannesburg. She is a four-time African champion and two-time Commonwealth gold medallist. She narrowly missed out on the Olympic gold in London in 2012, but is back with renewed determination at this year’s Rio Games.“I’ve grown emotionally over the last four years,” Viljoen told Time LIVE in July. “I am not tense or worried about results. My head and body are in complete harmony.“As one of South African’s most experienced athletes, Viljoen credits her longevity to divine drive. “(My) incredible passion and drive… is something that can only come from God. I don’t know how to give up, only how to persevere.”There will be a lot of support behind her, urging her on to get the gold this time around. Both her partner and daughter will be with her in Rio, cheering her along with all her South African fans to add another triumph to a distinguished athletics career.“It would be the perfect ending for all the years in which I invested everything. If I reap the fruits, I would know it has all been worth it, including the biggest battle I have had to fight off the field in the past four years.”Viljoen begins her Rio campaign on 17 August.Bridgitte Hartley – sprint canoeing2Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/sport/Womens-Month-South%20Africa-female-Olympians-100816.htm#.WBwdHZN96Rs#ixzz4P15bWNjLNEWS: Underdog tag fuelling @for_bridgitte‘s Olympic desire – https://t.co/tPVvSG2hsb | @teamsa16 #teamSArise pic.twitter.com/3NKA9BjEAw— Canoeing SA (@CanoeingSA) July 27, 2016 A surprise third-place in London in 2012 got the whole country talking about the then-unknown South African sprint canoeist Bridgitte Hartley. In Rio, she will be using South African fans as inspiration to go for the gold in the K1 Women’s 500m canoe sprint event on 17 August. She is looking forward to proving that her London bronze was no fluke.Hartley understands the pressures and hard work that comes with succeeding at international level, telling Sport24 before she left for a preparation training camp in Brazil: “I am more critical of everything now than I was before London. I am trying to always improve and I get frustrated when I have a bad training session.”The 33-year-old Johannesburg-born, self-described “optimistic blonde” wants to do more than just win the gold this time around; she wants to highlight her sport, particularly on the short events, which as many can attest, are as exciting and fierce as any land event.Julia Vincent – diving#Rio2016 #TeamSA – #diving : Catch @JulesVincent10 & in the 3m Women’s prelims at 20h00. pic.twitter.com/krDm8owmvg— Stephne J v Vuuren (@Steph_Sport) August 7, 2016 The 21-year-old Julia Vincent may be an Olympic newbie, but she is determined to grab a gold for South Africa in diving. She has been preparing for over two years, diving in the US as part of the University of South Carolina college team, where she earned the NCAA All-American title in the 1m dive.Vincent will be participating in the 3m dive in Rio, having qualified at the Fina Diving World Cup in February with a 250-plus score. She will become the first female South African diver to participate at an Olympics since the 1950s.Apart from her own event, Vincent is looking forward to experiencing Rio and the rest of the Games as a spectator, hoping to see the sights of one of the world’s most enigmatic cities and watch the men’s 100m athletics final, after she competes on 12 August.Tsholofelo Thipe – athleticsRustenburg-born 29-year-old Tsholofelo Thipe became one of the first black women to represent South Africa in a track event in the 400 metres at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. While she may have missed out on the London Games in 2012, she is back in Rio with even more determination.“I want to make a mark and become someone the youth can look up to. I have unfinished business in the Olympics and God has answered my prayers to be in Rio,” Thipe told the Sowetan when the final South African team was announced in June.She cites inspiration from other African female athletes, including Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, two of Africa’s fastest female sprinters. “I have raced them in Europe before. I hope the Rio Olympics will help me to rise. My ultimate dream is to be in the final.“Thipe will begin her heats on Saturday, 13 August.Noko Matlou – footballRead more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/sport/Womens-Month-South%20Africa-female-Olympians-100816.htm#.WBwdHZN96Rs#ixzz4P17KQOWrI feel blessed and honoured 2b chosen as one of the athletes that is going2 represent SA at de Rio Olympic #teamSa16 pic.twitter.com/eKA9kQ2bwx— Noko Matlou (@Nokomatlou11) July 23, 2016 A 10-year career as one of Banyana Banyana’s dependable defenders has taken Noko Matlou to two Olympics, and she hopes Rio will be an opportunity to help get the team a gold medal. She has played more than 89 games for the national side, scoring 61 goals along the way, including six goals at the 2008 African Women’s Championship.Later that year, Matlou became the first South African to be named the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Footballer of the Year.Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic CommitteeSouthafrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
Once again, the obstructionists are hard at work. According to a recent article in The Hill, a nonpartisan, nonideological daily paper for and about Congress, climate and energy bills currently clawing their way through Congress are meeting stiff resistance from several industry groups, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In basic terms, the bill would require new homes to be 30% more energy efficient by 2010, and 50% by 2014. In letters to representatives, the various trade groups claim the bill “makes faulty or unproven economic and technical assumptions about the viability of achieving certain energy-efficiency targets for buildings and homes.”What planet do they live on?According to the article in The Hill, “The trade groups say they support efforts to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses but that the codes are better left to local and state officials to set and enforce. Those codes have already been updated. One lobbyist involved in the effort said finding additional energy savings will be difficult.”The fact that NAHB, which is madly promoting the new National Green Building Standard and its practical and affordable methods, can claim that “additional energy savings will be difficult” is hard to swallow. I wish that the organization would deliver a more coordinated public message.Are we looking at the next GM and Chrysler?Anecdotal evidence suggests that many builders and remodelers who are well established in the green-building sector are doing better than contractors who are building in traditional ways. Consumer demand is there, the cost of creating more efficient buildings is minimal, and the benefits for all concerned are well documented. These industry groups digging in and fighting against energy efficiency is alarmingly similar to US auto companies spending decades fighting fuel-efficiency standards—and look where that’s gotten them!I feel that the factions at NAHB and NAR that are fighting increased energy efficiency standards should reconsider those positions, particularly while others at those same organizations are working hard to support more sustainable construction through programs such as the National Green Building Standard. My hope is that we can stop fighting, come to a level of agreement, and allow everyone to benefit from better home construction and renovation.