CLOSE to 100 junior tennis players from southern Africa are competing in the International Tennis Federation's Southern African Junior Championships which started in Windhoek yesterday.
Boys and girls from 11 southern African countries are competing in the tournament which will be played on an individual basis as well as a team basis. The top seven players in the singles categories will gain automatic qualification for the African Junior Championships which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya in April this year.
In the team competition, each country's ranking will be determined on the basis of points accumulated in the boys and girls' singles and doubles competitions, with the winning nation set to receive the ITF/CAT Southern African Junior Championships Team Trophy. The tournament started with round robin matches on Sunday to determine the seedings for the various categories. The tournament proper will start tomorrow when the knockout matches will start.
Namibian players had mixed results in the round robin matches on Sunday. In the Girls U16 category, Sedi Jacobs beat Maureen Mabuku of 6-1, 6-0, while Lize Moolman beat Nompendulo Ntshangase of Swaziland 6-0, 6-0. Moolman however also lost 6-3, 6-1 to Jackinah Rakotohasy of Madagascar. Tanya Butner lost 6-3, 6-1 to Reitume Metso of Lesotho, while Jessica Riddel lost 6-1, 6-0 to Ocean Razakaboana of Madagascar.
In the Girls U14 category, Sylvia Schultz lost 6-2, 6-0 to Kimberly Bhunu of Zimbabwe while Anita Spangenberg lost 6-3, 6-1 to Marieta Nhamitambo of Mozambique. Gina Moolman beat Elizabeth Oliviera of Mozambique 6-2, 6-1, but then lost by the same score to Sariaka Radilofe of Madagascar.
Nina Burger lost 6-1, 6-0 to Amelia Boy of Mauritius. In the Boys U16 category, Katu Jacobs lost both his matches, going down 6-1, 6-0 to Hermashu Rambojun of Mauritius and 7-5, 6-2 to Neo Makhakhe of Lesotho. Veja Hinda lost both his matches, going down 7-5, 6-2 to Innocent Tidimane of Botswana and 6-4, 6-4 to Marcel Rabenirina of Madagascar.
PD Theron staged a fine comeback to beat Emanuel Mabechu of Botswana 0-6, 6-2, 7-5, but then lost 6-1, 6-4 to Kukultla Motlojoa of Lesotho.
David Edmunds lost both his matches, going down 6-0, 6-1 to Andritokiana Ratsimandresy of Madagascar and 6-1, 6-2 to Den Dulthummon of Mauritius.
In the Boys U14 category, Petrus Burger beat Andesen Ndala of Malawi 6-3, 6-2, but lost 6-1, 6-2 to Miary Rakotondramboa of Madagascar, while Archie Norval lost 7-5, 3-6, 3-6 to Thato Holmes of Botswana. Nguvi Hinda beat Tshepo Mosarwa of Botswana 6-2, 7-6, but lost 6-3, 6-1 to Nyati Motlojoa of Lesotho, while Dantago Gawanab beat Ernest Soko of Malawi 6-1, 6-0, but lost 6-2, 6-2 to Mehluli Sibanda of Zimbabwe.
In the Boys U12 category, Benjamin Calitz lost 6-3, 6-2 against Tsolofelo Tiang of Botswana, while Mans Steenkamp lost both his matches, going down 6-1, 6-1 to Banabas Kabala of Zambia and 6-0, 6-0 to Valentine Munyawiri of Zimbabwe.
Codie van Schalkwyk won both his matches, beating Bruno Nhavene of Mozambique 6-2, 6-4 and Madubula Dlamini of Swaziland 6-0, 6-0, while Delvin Lospen lost 6-2, 6-0 to Bruno Nhavene.