NICOLE Dzenga of Zimbabwe beat Namibia's Sedi Jacobs in three sets to win the Girls' U16 singles title at the ITF Southern African Junior Championships on Saturday.
The second-seeded Dzenga immediately took the initiative when she broke the top-seeded Jacobs's serve early on and she kept up the pressure to win the first set 6-0.
Jacobs recovered well as her powerful serves and groundstrokes started to find the target and she levelled the match after winning the second set 6-3.
In the third set both players stepped up their level with some great rallies, while fortunes swayed to and fro. There were some early service breaks but a visibly tiring Jacobs managed to hold Dzenga to tie the match at 5-5.
Dzenga won her serve to go 6-5 up and then got the decisive break when she once again broke Jacobs' serve to win the set 7-5 and take the title.
Dzenga was elated with her victory.
"I went into the match determined to do my best and my expectations were good. I just played my best and it helped me win the match," she said.
"My serve was helping me so much. I didn't think I could break her serve so I just had to make sure to keep my serve, and it worked out well," she added.
Dzenga praised the organisers for a well-run tournament and said the title meant a lot.
"This title means so much to me. From the beginning of the year I have been working towards this tournament and I am so excited now and I can't wait to play everyone again to see if I can maintain this form," she said.
Jacobs was gracious in defeat, and congratulated Dzenga on her victory.
"It was a good match and my opponent played very well. I had a slow start, I served OK, but I made too many unforced errors," she said.
Jacobs said she would now go back to the drawing board and start practising for the ITF African Championships which take place in Potchefstroom, South Africa in February.
In the Boys' U16 final the top-seeded Lloyd Harris of South Africa beat compatriot and number two seed Brandon Laubser 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In the Boys U12 final the third-seeded Banabas Kalaba of Zambia beat Tsholofelo Tsiang of Botswana 6-1, 6-4.
Tsiang had earlier beaten the top-seeded Codie van Schalkwyk of Namibia 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
In the Boys' U14 final Richard Thongoana of South Africa beat the top-seeded Andritovina Ratsimandres 6-3, 7-5.
In the Girls' U14 final, top-seeded Lee Barnard beat her twin sister Zani Barnard 6-3, 6-4.