Namibian juniors shine at ITF tennis tourney in Mauritius
An International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Tennis tournament recently took place in Mauritius, which saw players competing in two rounds.
The event was divided into two tourneys, with the first tourney taking place from October 1- 4 and the second one from October 5-8. Players received ITF (international) ranking points in the U/14 age category, while in the U/12 group players received CAT (African) ranking points.
The 1st leg tournament was a Grade 2 tournament where more ranking points were up for grabs, while the second tournament was a lesser Grade 3 event.
The Namibian team, which was managed and coached by Kallie Heese and SP van Wyk, consisted of the following players; Girls U/12: Hendrina Apollus, Elze Stears; Boys U/12: Josh Barnard, Daniel Jauss; Girls U/14: Megan Lombardt, Lisa Yssel; Boys U/14: Oliver Diggle, Maans Steenkamp.
Players played for positions in a compass draw format. Highlights of the 1st Leg was Lisa Yssels appearance in the 1/8 finals, where she lost to Andrea Madson Finariera from Madagascar 6-1, 6-1.
Yssels eventually ended up in very respectable 8th overall position in the highly competitive Girls U/14 group. In the doubles event, Yssels and Lombardt caused an upset when they marched all the way to the semifinals. Here they finally had to bow out of the competition, losing 6-0, 6-3 to eventual champions Rochelle Pienaar (RSA) and Tsego Tsiang of Botswana.
The Namibian boys saved their best for last in the second leg when Steenkamp and Diggle went all the way to the best 4 in the u/14 doubles event and destroyed the Kenia team 6 0, 6-2 in the 1/8 finals.
Apollus had to fight a tough three-setter having 3 match points stacked up against her to eventually overcome a small, but hard-hitting Eve Gaillard of Reunion 4-6, 7-6, 6-3. The Namibian hopeful ended up as the best-ranked Namibian player of the two tournaments, reaching a 7th overall position in the 2nd tournament.
The next tournament will be the Sanlam Junior Tournament for U/12 and U/14 age group on the October 14-15, followed by the Trustco Masters on October 28.