Cape Town - Five South African juniors, Kholo Montsi, Charl Morgan, Joubert Klopper, Megan Basson and Myah Petchey will represent the country in the Australian Open Junior Qualifying Tournament, during which 64 of the world's top 18-and-under boys and girls will compete for a chance to play in the Australian Open Junior Championships.
The qualifying event will be held at Traralgon Tennis Association in Australia from Wednesday, January 16 to Thursday, January 17.
The Australian Open Junior Qualifying event features 32-player singles draws for boys and girls, with eight players on each side advancing to the main draw. The 2019 Boys' and Girls' Qualifying fields feature mostly players ranked in the Top 100 of the world junior rankings.
Sixteen-year-old Kholo Montsi, ranked 112 globally, won his biggest international junior tournament title last year in Zimbabwe, where he was seeded fourth during the third leg of the South-Central International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Circuit in Harare. He shocked top seed Eric Vanshelboim of Ukraine in straight sets in the final.
Seventeen-year-old Charl Morgan from Gauteng Central impressed last year in Stellenbosch when he clinched two titles at the Curro Junior ITF 2 which was staged at Stellenbosch University in September. Early last year in April Morgan defended his maiden title in Botswana and he also captured the Mozambique title in 2017.
Joubert Klopper, a 17-year-old from Bloemfontein, was also a star player in the Curro Junior ITF Grade 4 tournament last year at Stellenbosch University. Klopper defeated Pierre Malan in straight sets to lift the boys’ title.
Basson, 16-year-old from Fairlands, west of Johannesburg, dominated the Wanderers Junior ITF international tournament at the Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo before lifting the girls title following a thriller against compatriot, Linge Steenkamp. The Wanderers title was Basson’s fifth international junior title.
The fifth player to take part in the event is Myah Petchey, 17, who is based overseas. She got her break when she won her first international title at the NWU Pukke International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in Potchefstroom last year. Petchey captured the 3rd Euphemia Tlhapane Memorial Grade 5 in Botswana and the ITF South Central Circuit Grade 1 in Namibia.
The main draw of the Australian Open Junior Championships runs from January 19-26 at Melbourne Park, and will feature the future's stars from around the world.
The Australian Open Junior Championships is one of the four Junior Grand Slam tournaments played as part of the ITF Junior 18/u world circuit. The event has Junior Grand Slam Grade A points status and has draw sizes of 64 boys and 64 girls in the singles and 32 teams in the doubles.