Gaborone — Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) chairperson, Dr Khaulani Fichani says the association will engage young players in more national tournaments in order to comply with international requirements.
Speaking on Tuesday during the closing ceremony of the four-day Motor Centre Botswana Junior Open Championships in Gaborone, Dr Fichani said they aim to stage at least 20 youth tournaments every year.
He explained that the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) required juniors to play more national competitions to stand a chance of qualifying for international competitions.
He said only players ranked in the top 32 on the continent would be allowed to participate in the Africa Junior Championships next year.
"There is now a demand that our players must play a lot of matches. We have always known that, it is not a new thing, but now it is going to be implemented. If we say we are not doing well it will be like 20 national tournaments," he said.
He said players must be given access to more matches to stand a chance of being ranked in the top 32 in Africa, and thanked Motor Centre for its commitment to helping tennis grow at the grassroots level.
The Motor Centre Junior Open Championships attracted 153 participants across five age categories. The age categories included under 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.
Shelton Benzah, the BTA public relations officer said apart from local players, the tournament also attracted players from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
He said while most players had registered as individuals, there were teams from Orapa Tennis Club and Donga Club in Francistown.
He said BTA encourages its affiliated clubs to scout for players in their areas and register them to develop tennis. "We want to have players affiliated to clubs so that clubs are the ones that manages players, either juniors or seniors," Benzah said.
Tsholofelo Tsiang emerged champion in the under 18 boys' singles category after finishing top of the round robin standing. Best Ndebele finished in second position while Thato Holmes settled for the bronze medal.
Denzel Seetso beat Loago Saleshando 6-0, 6-2 in the final to take the championships in the boys' singles category, while Leungo Monnayoo won the girls singles category which was also played in a round robin format.
Her runner-up was Anele Maplanka.
The under 14 boys' singles category was won by Abia Bleskit who beat Bogosi Nkolonyane 6-2, 6-1 in the final, while the under 14 girls' singles was won by Abigail Tuffek with Atshele Phatshwane finishing second.
The under 12 boys' singles was won by Arnold Bleskit, while the girls category was won by Lily Poely.
Champions in the under 10 boys singles category were Leatile Modisenyane (red ball), Sawaaf Shafwan (green ball), and Luka (orange balls), while girls category winners were Nytia Dohara (red), Bashili Phatshwane (orange), Kudzai Chapepa (green).
Doubles champions were Denzel Seetso and Loago Saleshando (boys under 16), Abigail Tuffek and Chelsea Chakanyuka (girls under 16), Wamorena Mhlanga and Bogosi Nkolonyane (boys under 14), Arnold Bleskit and Seabo Saleshando (boys under 12), and Lily Poely and Bangu Moekejo (girls under 12). BOPA
Source : BOPA