Junior Tennis Stars Impress in Namibia

ON 21/01/2017 04:01pm

South African junior tennis players impressed in Namibia and were named the top performing nation in the ITF CAT Southern Africa Championships which ended in Windhoek Wednesday.

A 14 and under, and 16 and under girls and boys team represented the country in the Championships.

In the individual competition which ended on Sunday, South Africa won four titles and reached two finals in the eight events played.

Thando Longwe-Smit seeded five in the boys 16 and under won the sole singles title when he upset top seeded countryman Pierre Malan 3-6 6-2 6-3.

In the three doubles titles won by South Africans, Rohan Loubser teamed up with Namibian Connor Van Schalkwyk to lift the 14 and under boys title whilst Pierre Malan and Charl Morgan won the 16 and under boys title with Delien Kleinhans and Makayla Loubser winning the 16 and under girls title.

Tournament favourite, Connor Kruger was the losing South African finalist in the 14 and under boys singles, going down to  unseeded Toky Ranaivo of Madagascar in three tight sets 5-7 7-5 6-7 (5).

Gabriella Broadfoot and Christine Kruger top seeds in the 14 and under girls doubles lost in three sets to second seeded Mialy Ranaivo and Narindra Ranaivo of Madagascar.

South Africa, through these fine performances accumulated enough points to be positioned tops in the team standings. South Africa beat Madagascar and Mauritius to top spot.

In the  team competition of the tournament which started on Monday, South Africa dominated winning the Girls under 12 and 16 and Boys under 16 team titles. The South African Boys under 14 team ended up second to Madagascar. As a result of the domination, South Africa took home the team trophy.

The winning South African teams now qualify for the African Junior Tennis Championships (AJTC’s) the Africa-Qualifying Event to be played in North Africa in June. Should the under 16 teams have success there, they will qualify for the Junior Davis and Fed Cup competitions played in Budapest in August 2017. The under 14 girls will do battle at the same event with hope for qualifying for World Junior Tennis finals played in Czech Republic in August 2017.

Pictures from left to right;

Back row; Rohan Loubser(WP), Lara Van der Merwe(NWP), Pierre Malan(WP), Delien Kleinhans(FS), Charl Morgan(GP), Makyla Loubser(WP), Christine Kruger(FS).

Front row; Andreas Scott(GP), Connor Kruger(GP), MC Oliver ((FS) coach under 16), Thabo Matlhaela ((GP) coach under14), Gabriella Broadfoot (GP), Kelly Arends(WP).