Earlier this week we caught up with South Africa's highest ranked Junior tennis player, Richard Thongoana. Richard is currently ranked 156 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Junior Boys, just 1.25 points ahead of South African Joshua Howard-Tripp.
You're currently the highest ranked South Africa Junior Boy on the ITF Rankings, how does that feel?
It feels good. It makes one feel that the hard work put on the court is bearing some fruit. The work is not done though.
How did you get involved in playing tennis?
I just picked up a racket 12 years ago having seen my brother playing.
Do you have any pre-match rituals or traditions?
Yes I do. I play my music and calm myself down. Sometimes it will be to pump myself up.
If you could play any other sport, what would it be and why?
Swimming. I love the water.
Who is your favourite professional athlete and why?
Jo Wilfred Tsonga and Floyd Money Mayweather. Their tenacity impresses me.
What has been the best (most memorable) match you've ever played, and why?
It was against Alexei Popyryn in 2013 in USA at the Nike Junior Masters in 2013. Alexei was the number 2 seed.
If you could choose anyone, from any time period to play against, who would you choose and why?
Roger Federer. He is a legend in the sport.
What is one piece of advice you'd give a young player who wants to take tennis competition seriously?
Perseverance and hard work. Results are not easy to come by.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
I'm very adaptable, and not particularly dependent on anything.
How do you balance tennis with all of your other responsibilities?
It's very difficult, especially with school. Discipline is definitely required.
Do you have any digital media accounts where people can follow you?
I have an Instagram account. My username is @ThongoanaRichard