Yaxley ace Nicky Brett got his Just World Indoor SIngles bid underway with a straight sets first-round victory over South African George Lotter at Potters Leisure Resort yesterday (Jnauary 17).
The third seed, aiming to reclaim the crown he won two years ago, was given a stern examination by the Proteas ace – who qualified through the South African PBA system – but he eventually passed the test, winning 10-5 9-7.
Brett would have been mindful of not being the victim of another giant-killing act after watching six-time champion Alex Marshall MBE dumped out by New Zealand’s Andrew Kelly only minutes prior to stepping out on the portable blue rink, in a result that sent reverberations around the five-star holiday complex.
A shock defeat wasn’t totally out of the question, with the 41-year-old Vanderbijlpark resident giving as good as he got for most of the first set before Brett’s experience and class ultimately told late on and he duly pocketed a one-set lead to ease the pressure somewhat.
Lotter, who previously appeared at the championships 11 years ago, then led midway through the second set to give him hope of taking Brett to a tie-break, but the 2016 champion came with a late surge to eventually edge the set and seal his place in the second round next Wednesday against local hero Mervyn King.