Van der Merwe soars after US win

Izak van der Merwe, South Africa’s No. 2 player, has climbed 17 places in the men’s world tennis rankings after securing his first victory in the United States at the weekend.

Van der Merwe rose to 115th position in the latest ATP list released on Monday, two places lower than the career-best standing he reached in August.

The 27-year-old, who won the Soweto Open in April, fought back to beat American Jesse Levine 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the final in Charlottesville on Sunday.

“It feels great to win my first title in America,” Van der Merwe said.

“I served well all week and knew that if I kept up, getting to the net and putting pressure on my opponent, I would have a great chance of winning the final.”

Van der Merwe said he would play two more tournaments in the US this year—in Knoxville, Tennessee and Champaign, Illinois—before returning to his home in Stellenbosch.

“This win has given me great confidence for the 2012 season,” he said.

Meanwhile, SA No. 1 Kevin Anderson dropped three places to 33rd in the rankings after he was eliminated by Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the second round of the Valencia Open last week.—Sapa

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