Opponent: Lauren Selby
Nationality: England
Tournament Seed: 4
World Ranking: 58
Result: Lost 3-0; 11/6 11/7 11/9

This match didn’t really go according to plan. I wanted to go in there all relaxed, but i guess I was too relaxed, and didn’t quite show up in the way i did yesterday. Lauren was in great form, executing her game plan well against me, and i just couldn’t switch it into my favour this time. I know she is a clever player, but today I was too impatient. Not the right game plan. I will just have to learn from this!

Lots of other stuff has been happening in the background though. I had a little complication with my visa to China. Basically left South Africa without one, after being told i could get one here in Kuwait. Turns out that was bad advice. You only get a visa here if you are a resident. Oh dear. So the last few days i sent emails left-right-and-centre to Chinese embassies in SA and Kuwait, as well SA embassy in Kuwait, as well as countless emails to the South African Minister of Foreign affairs’ office, to ask for help in this situation. I got a response from the SA embassy here. They weren’t sure what they could do for me from this side, but they did come to visit me at the hotel…and call me each day to wish me well in the tournament.

My husband, went to ask questions at the Chinese embassy in Cape Town, where the lady was surprised to hear i was denied an application in Kuwait. Somehow, my husband managed to get a helpful response from her, where she agreed to contact the embassy here in Kuwait. I was given strict instructions to make sure i was there first thing Sunday morning, since they operate Sunday – Thursday working days. So that’s what i did, only to get the response this morning, “Sorry, we cannot process your visa here. I do not have the power to authorise this.”
My heart sank. I thought i would cry, but then realised the next plan could be to fly to a neighbouring country/city like Thailand, Vietnam or Hong Kong, and apply there, if time allowed it. Whatever happened, i would need to be in Shanghai to play my match Tuesday afternoon/evening. So, that’s the option hubby and I decided to work on, along with the travel agent who was kind enough to give me her cell phone number for an emergency on Sunday, in case we came to this point. Just as we were about to confirm a possible solution with the agent, i get a phone call in my room. It’s the SA embassy telling me that I should go to the Chinese embassy immediately because my “visa to china is ready.” I said, “What? How?” They just said, “Go!”

I moved as quickly as i could (after letting my hubby know), realising what the time was – 13h30. The embassy closes at 14h00. I asked the hotel to book me a taxi, which seemed to take forever to get here. Finally it came, but we were welcomed by heavy traffic. Oh dear. We arrived at 14h20. The taxi driver tried to phone inside the embassy on my behalf while i was trying to get the attention of the security guard. He told me it was closed and i should just keep calling or press the buzzer. I tried to reason with him…then the driver spoke to him in arabic, which started making him move further away from the small gate, away from us. We went back to buzzing on a bigger gate, and trying to phone. The time now is 14h35. Then the security guard opened the gate and asked me again what the problem was. I told him that if there was any chance someone was inside the embassy, please could he ask them about the South African visa.
“Where is your collection ticket?” he asked. I said, “I don’t have one.”
He then asked, “Where is your passport?”
I pointed to my bag, “I have it with me.”
He quickly exclaimed, “It is impossible then what you are saying, that you must pick up visa if you have your passport.”
I replied,” I know! It sounds crazy to me too, but they phoned me. They told me to come here. If you believe in God, you will believe that maybe this is a crazy miracle!”
He said, “I believe in God.” He then agreed to go inside and ask.

At that moment, we saw three chinese people walk out of the bigger gate. I ran after them. I asked them for the same thing and told them my flight was leaving tonight, so i couldn’t wait to find out tomorrow. Just as one of them was using his phone to enquire, the security guard returned with the lady who had denied me the application that morning. My heart sank again. Then she smiled and said, “After you left this morning, I was informed that I could submit your application, but I didn’t have contact details for you in Kuwait. So, i phoned your embassy to inform them.”

WOW!! I couldn’t believe my ears!!! I’m still shocked and surprised knowing that i can pick up my passport tomorrow. My husband has been working tirelessly to ensure that my flight changes occur smoothly, to still arrive on time for my match. Right now, i will try to remain peaceful and walk in the knowledge that what He has begun, He will bring to completion.

For those of you who pray, hubby reminded me a few days ago of Proverbs 3, verse 5-6.“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
For those of you that don’t pray, don’t let this freak you out, and forgive me if all this God stuff made this feel a little too “religious” for you. Just choose to see the miracle in an impossible situation.

China, here we come!!!



  1. Yolisa Ndhlovu Says:

    That was so touching Siyoli, we indeed serve a Living God!

  2. Carla Delport Says:

    Siyoli this blog has brought tears to my eyes! God is so faithful!

  3. wow..i am aöso almost in tears..so glad it worked out Si and Praise GOD!

  4. i am also almost in tears,glad it worked out Si and praise God!

  5. Jonathan de T Says:

    If it ever happens again, remember it is easy to get a China visa in Hong Kong – a good hotel can even get it for you the same day….pleased you got it though,despite the stress!

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