Over 100 players participated in the Sanlam junior tennis tournament that took place in Windhoek over the weekend.
The two-day action that took place at various courts saw top and upcoming players battling for top honours in their respective categories.
The tournament also saw doubles being played for the first time since the return.
In the semi-finals, the first seeded under-18 player Lorenzo Danster came against Daniel Jauss, who won the U-16 division of the last tournament.
Jauss beat Danster 6-2 and 6-4.
George Louw, who defeated Dian Calitz 6-0, 7-6, won the other semi-final.
In the final, Louw had no answer to the powerful aces of Jauss at the end.
Jauss won 6-2 and 7-5.
The U-18 girls had only three opponents with Lisa Yssel easily coming out tops by beating Megan Lombardt 6-2, 6-4. Nicola Nitschke took bronze.
The girl’s U-16 saw Raica Coelho easily taking gold by beating Sytisha Goagoses 6-1, 6-1 in the final. Larushka got the better of Dominique Theron by beating her 6-3, 6-3 to take bronze.
The girl’s U-14 division was another scintillating affair.
With the absence of the two top players, the way was easier for three U-12 players to come out at the top. Hayley Kidd won against Karla Terblanche in straight sets 6-1 and 6-2 for the gold medal while Joanivia Bezuidenhout got the better of Odyciah Karaerua with 6-0 and 7-6.
The boy’s U-14 final was probably the match of the day that tested both players’ mettle.
Oliver Leicher and Adam Diggle again met in the finals but Saturday it was Diggle’s turn to prevail.
Diggle defeated the first seeded Leicher by 6-3, 6-7, 7-5.
Juan Kuhn retired earlier in the day, paving the way for Ruben Nel to receive the bronze medal.
With the absence of three of the top U-12 players who participated in the U-14 category, Lila Kidd had to fight for her first gold medal by winning against Ayanda Basson in a nail-biting final.
Their score was 7-5, 1-6 and 10-6. Bronze went to Santie van der Walt who beat Tjivingurura Vita in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
Ruben Yssel got the better of Lian Kuhn in the semi-final by winning him 6-1, 6-1, where after he defeated Eduan Schollij in the finals 6-2, 6-4.
The third place was won by Lian Kuhn who defeated Liam Forster in a very tight match 7-5, 3-6 and 12-10 in the super tiebreak that served as the third set.
The girl’s U-10 category saw some very tough matches.
Linda Alemu won gold, Elrica Nakusera silver and Emma Brinkmann bronze.
In the U-10 boy division, Luan Brand took top honours ahead of Samuel Lagvardi (second place) and Divan Engelbrecht who finished third.
Speaking to New Era Sport at the end of the tournament, National Tennis Association’s chairperson of the junior tennis committee, Santie van der Walt applauded Sanlam Namibia for their effort and commitment in developing junior tennis.
“We are very thankful to Sanlam for this sponsorship and their commitment in developing junior tennis. They have truly made a big difference in the sport by their continual renewal of a much needed sponsorship, and the passion of their involvement with junior tournaments,” said Van der Walt.
She, however, expressed disappointment in players who could not turnout due to circumstances beyond their control. “It is very unfortunate that all our players from the coast could again not attend this tournament. We have some top players being kept from competitions because of the movement restrictions but are confident that they are keeping fit and training hard for our next tournament on 24 July in Windhoek,” added Van der Walt. –email@example.com