Coppini Tennis Academy star Marilouise van Zyl wins at W50 Pretoria

17-year-old Marilouise van Zyl claimed her first professional win

by Jovica Ilic
Coppini Tennis Academy star Marilouise van Zyl wins at W50 Pretoria
© Deaan Vivier

The 17-year-old Marilouise van Zyl from Coppini Tennis Academy scored her first professional victory at the W50 event at home in Pretoria. The young South African defeated world no. 1180 Amanda Carolina Nava Elkin 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 46 minutes after a massive battle on Court 5.

Marilouise lost the opener with a late break before finding her strokes in sets two and three, celebrating a notable triumph from a set and a break down. Van Zyl performed better behind the first serve, winning 13 points more than her rival.

A teenager performed better in the pivotal moments, delivering seven breaks from nine opportunities and saving four out of ten break points offered to the Mexican. Marilouise produced a fine hold in the first game of the encounter and reached three deuces in game two before Amanda Carolina held for 1-1.

Van Zyl fired two aces in the third game, building another advantage before Nava Elkin grabbed the next one after deuce, locking the result at 2-2. Still serving well, the South African brought the fifth game hold at love and pushed strong on the return in the next one.

The young gun grabbed a break at 15 and forged a 4-2 advantage. Marilouise squandered a game point in game seven and lost serve, bringing her rival back to the positive side of the scoreboard. The Mexican held at 15 in game eight, leveling the score at 4-4 and making another good run on the return in the next one.

Marilouise van Zyl, 2024 W50 Pretoria© Barco Greeff

Coppini Tennis Academy's Marilouise van Zyl claimed a notable victory in Pretoria.

Van Zyl wasted a game point and lost serve for the second straight time, falling 5-4 behind and allowing her rival to serve for the set.

The young South African kept fighting, pulling the break back in game ten and prolonging the battle. However, Marilouise lost serve at love in game 11, suffering the third break in a row and sending Amanda Carolina in front.

The more experienced player held at 30 in game 12, wrapping up the opener 7-5 after an hour. Van Zyl experienced the fourth break in a row at the beginning of the second set and squandered a break point in the next one to fall 2-0 behind.

The 17-year-old held after deuce in game three and reached deuces on the return in the next one before her rival closed the game for 3-1. Marilouise pulled the break back in game six after Amanda Carolina's double fault, returning to the positive side of the scoreboard.

A teenager lost serve again in the seventh game, falling 4-3 behind and closer to the exit door. Van Zyl displayed her fighting spirit in the eighth game, bouncing back from 0-40 and rattling off five points to deliver a decisive break and lock the result at 4-4.

Marilouise held at love in game nine and defended the rival's game point at 5-4 before notching a break that wrapped up the set for her, forcing a decider after two hours on the clock. Van Zyl held at love two times at the beginning of the decider, and Nava Elkin followed that pace for 2-2.

A teenager lost serve in the fifth game, falling behind and finding herself 4-2 down following the Mexican's hold at love a few minutes later. Marilouise stayed composed in the seventh game, closing it after deuces and remaining within one break deficit.

Van Zyl broke back at 15 in game eight after Nava Elkin's double fault and gained a boost. The young gun grabbed the ninth game at 15, serving well and opening a 5-4 gap. The pressure was on Amanda Carolina, and she could not deal with it.

Marilouise secured her second straight break of serve in game ten, sealing the deal and celebrating her first professional victory at 17. "I made a shaky start. In the second set, I tried to focus on my weapons and find the first serves.

I built my confidence back and got into the zone. It just went better and better for me, and I clinched sets two and three. It was a good match overall, and I'm proud of myself for making it after a massive fight," Marilouise van Zyl said.