The Sanlam-sponsored annual Namibian Tennis Association (NTA) junior tennis tourney that took place in the capital recently proved a huge success, with players grilling each other at various venues in Windhoek.
More than 65 juniors in the different age groups, starting from Under-8 to Under-18, registered to compete for valuable NTA ranking points at the Eros, Nampol and the Central Tennis Club courts. The Under-14 and Under-16 juniors boasted the highest number of participants.
Participants have to win ranking points at the NTA junior tourney circuit to be able to qualify for the COSASSA Balls Games in Botswana scheduled for August 22-28 and the ITF/CTA U/12 and Under-14 junior circuit in Mauritius slated for October.
As in previous NTA junior tourneys, more than 20 players in the Under-8 age group turned up for matches in this particular group as they were played in two different formats.
At the so called “red court”, juniors played at less than half the size of a normal tennis court with bigger and softer balls, that are easier to hit and bounce less than normal balls. The more experienced Under-8 kids played at the “orange court” with orange balls that are faster and more difficult to play.
The winner in the Under-8 competition was Abraham Alemu, while Nathan Chase took second place. The girls’ Under-18 final was won by Taimi Nashiku, who beat Lisa Yssel 6-0, 6-1. Rising tennis star Taimi is currently schooling and playing tennis in Berlin, Germany.
Elze Stears got the better of Tinashe Mukumba in a tight three-setter 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. However, in the group matches Tinashe did better on aggregate points and progressed to the semifinals. The Under-14 girls final was won by Tammy-Ann Lombardt, who defeated Hendrina Appolus 6-2, 6-3.
A large group of parents and spectators enjoyed the last single final of the Under-12 boys played between top-seed Albertus Brinkmann and Daneel Van Der Waldt. In a highly contested match, Van Der Waldt was able to return powerful ground-strokes and eventually won the match.