Tennis

SA’s rising tennis stars shine at international tournament

2018-03-04 06:02
Tennis net balls (File)

Johannesburg - Local junior tennis players flew the country’s flag high last weekend at the RVTA Pukke International Tennis Federation (ITF) 1 and 2 tournaments.

South African Pierre Malan lifted the ITF 2 trophy after beating defending champion Christiaan Worst 6-3, 7-5 at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy in Potchefstroom, North West.

It took Malan an hour and 27 minutes to win his singles title.

Malan was over the moon after the match, and said: “It’s an amazing feeling and I am in a great space with regards to my game.”

It was the second time Malan had defeated Worst in the past six months.

Malan wiped the floor with Worst when the two went toe-to-toe at a Futures event in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, last year.

“Defeating Christiaan in Stellenbosch gave me confidence,” said the young tennis champion.

South Africans Gerhardt Becker and Joubert Klopper beat Alexander Hoogmartens and Noah Martens of Belgium 7-5, 6-3 to win the ITF 2 boys’ doubles title.

The girls’ double title slipped through South Africa’s fingers when Lize-Alet Morkel and Rochelle Pienaar lost to Israel’s Mika Dagan Fruchtman and Lorin Tilipman.

Local prodigies Megan Lombardi and Linge Steenkamp lost 7-6, 6-2 in the girls’ doubles title final when they competed against French players Margaux Komano and Helena Mohamed.

A week before he won the singles title, Malan lost to Kholo Montsi in the ITF 1 semi-finals.

Montsi’s outstanding performance in the boys’ singles and doubles finals secured him two trophies.

The 15-year-old beat US player Murphy Cassone 6-2, 7-6 in the boys’ singles final.

The rising star teamed up with Robbie Arends to defeat Alexander Hoogmartens and Noah Martens
6-4, 6-3.

Montsi said: “I am very happy to have won. I worked really hard for the trophies and I’m proud of the way I played and conducted myself throughout the tournament.”

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