The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia Dominate Tennis At Student Games

NAMIBIA are well set to scoop a host of medals when the tennis finals at the FASU Games take place this morning.

Namibia are already assured of a gold medal in the women's singles competition after Imke Honiball and Riekie Honiball progressed to the final, while Jean Erasmus will meet Yasri Hichem of Algeria in the men's final.

Namibia also won their first gold medal in the women's doubles competition which was concluded yesterday, while they are also well set for gold in the men's doubles competition.

It was only in the mixed doubles competition where they did not dominate, as Algeria managed to win the gold medal yesterday.

In yesterday's men's singles semifinals, the top-seeded Jean Erasmus easily beat Thesly Mucunda of Zimbabwe 6-0, 6-1 to progress to the final.

Erasmus was just too strong for Mucunda and served several aces while he mixed his game up well with groundstrokes and volleys at the net.

Yasri Hichem of Algeria also easily reached the final as he beat Fritchard Mulenga of Zambia 6-1, 6-1 in their semifinal encounter.

Erasmus said he was looking forward to the final.

"I'm in good form and hope to do well in the final. I've watched Hichem play, he has a big serve and he plays a patient and consistent game from the back line, but his volleys are not so good. So I will try and serve and volley more and bring him more to the net," Erasmus said.

"This tournament has provided a great opportunity and it's great that countries like Algeria are also here," he added.

The women's singles semifinals were also quite one-sided.

The top seed Imke Jagau beat Mwenge Domingo of Zambia 6-0, 6-1, while the fourth-seeded Riekie Honiball of Namibia beat the second-seeded Fatima Boukezzi of Algeria 6-2, 6-3.

After her victory, Honiball said she just tried to remain patient and wear her opponent down.

"She is a clay court specialist, but I just tried to remain patient while I also attacked her backhand more," she said.

Honiball said she was looking forward to a good final.

"Imke is in good shape and playing well and it should be a good match," she said.

In the men's doubles competition, the Namibian team of Jean Erasmus and Henco Serdyn beat Zambia 6-3, 6-4 in their opening match. They just need to beat Algeria to claim the gold medal.

In the women's doubles competition, Honiball and Jagau won the gold medal after they beat Algeria 6-4, 6-3 and Botswana 6-0, 6-1.

Algeria won gold in the mixed doubles competition after beating the Namibian team of Eric Verburg and Carita Moolman 7-6, 7-6 in a close match.

The finals will start at 09h00 at the SKW courts this morning.

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