The Namibian Tennis Association (NTA) junior tournament sponsored by Sanlam took centre-stage over the weekend at the Central Tennis Courts in Olympia.
The tournament was only for the Under-12 and Under-14 age groups, as the other age groups had already completed their matches two weeks ago. The tournament, held on Friday and Saturday, was very important to the junior players, as it served as the last opportunity for them to gain qualifying points to help boost their national rankings.
The best eight qualified juniors in all age groups will be invited to play the national youth championship on October 28 at the Trustco Junior Masters, the most important national tournament on the NTA Junior calendar.
Luca Monteforte showed that he is a strong contender to end the year as the number one player in the Under-14 age group. He dominated his group by winning all his matches. The runner-up in the group was Diken de Jongh from the FNB Development programme.
In the Under-12 Boys group Carlos Uirab caused an upset by beating Albertus Brinkmann 6-2, 6-2. When asked how he managed to dethrone the No.1 ranked player, he replied: “I used angled shots to make my opponent move and I played drop shots to bring him to the net. This way I was able to pass him.”
During the prize-giving ceremony, the representative of Sanlam, Annemarie Saunders, remarked that small players should have big dreams to one day present Namibia at international tournaments. “We at Sanlam are proud to contribute to the future of Namibian tennis,” she said.
NTA president Sam Kaulinge handed over medals to all the winners and thanked all the parents and players who had joined the tournament – singling out the players who had come all the way from Outjo.
The next event will be the Trustco Junior Masters on October 28. The highest ranked eight players in each age group will be invited to play in this tournament.