By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK Preparations for the ITF South/Central African Under 18 Junior Circuit 2008 tennis tournament took an advanced step last weekend when junior local tennis players took to the court to battle it out for local honours. Namibia hosts the ITF U18 Junior Circuit between 22 July and 01 August this year, where more than twenty countries are expected to contest. The event is an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grand Slam gathering which will be hosted by the Namibia Tennis Association (NTA). Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Burundi and Congo have been confirmed to will represent Africa. The Slovak Republic, Sweden, Belgium, Great Britain, India and Israel have also been confirmed to represent other overseas countries. Some of Namibia's representatives at the ITF tournament, Henco Serdin, Jonathan Edmunds, Thomas Geier, Michal Muller and Imke Jagau were all in top form over the weekend in preparatory games organized by Sanlam Namibia. Jagau won the girls Under18 singles over the weekend beating Teri Oliver 6-1;7-6 in the final, while Namibia's most experienced youngster Henco Serdyn beat compatriot Thomas Geier 6-3;6-1 in the boys Under 18 singles final. Michal Muller, also a member of Namibia's ITF squad, teamed up with Leonardo van Niekerk in the boys doubles to defeat Pieter Steenkamp and Olaf Diener 6-0;6-1. Jonathan Edmunds was in top form as he overran Calla Joone 6-4; 6-4 in the Under 16 singles final. "Jonathan is part of the ITF Under 18 junior team and he might have passed as the tournament's best player last weekend and can do wonders come next week," said Karin du Plooy, of the NTA. Young Sedi Jacobs stole the show with a 6-1; 7-6 encounter against Juliane S Schuckmann to further confirm her status as the future of Namibian tennis. Aged 12, she was in South Africa recently for the SA Under 13 tournament where she won the back-draw before arriving for the Sanlam tournament last weekend. Du Plooy says Namibia is ready to host the Grand Slam event starting next week both on and off the court.
2008-07-16 00:00:00 10 years ago