Talent and flair were on display as the weekend saw the successful conclusion of the 7th National Tournament for junior tennis players of 2022.
Players from across the country participated in this event. Khomas, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto were regions represented in the mother city. The Sanlam sponsored event saw older players battling fiercely for top spots in the games.
A total of 61 players with ages ranging from 8 to 24 years old played 109 singles matches over two days at 18 courts in Windhoek.
The talented young Namibian players displayed their skills and treated spectators to a feast of exciting tennis. It is evident that tennis in Namibia is improving as more players contest the top positions in each age category.
One such a player is the 3rd ranked boys u/16 player, Juan Kuhn, who silenced his opponents by first overpowering the 1st seeded Ruan Calitz with 6-2,6-3 after which he sealed the fate of Antonio Tchivanda, another favourite, in the finals with a score of 6-2 and 6-4.
Tchivanda had to outmanoeuvre 4th seeded Oliver Leicher and second seeded Stephan Koen (6-4, 7-6) to match up in the final against Kuhn and earn the silver.
The three top-seeded players dominated the Girls u/14 category. Joanivia Bezuidenhout (1), Mari van Schalkwyk (3) and Minenhle Moyo (2). They overpowered all their opponents in the group stages of the round-robin matches, where they met in the semis and finals.
Moyo defeated Bezuidenhout in the first semi-final with a score of 6-3, 6-2, where after she sealed the victory against Van Schalkwyk with a score of 6-4, 6-3. Van Schalkwyk contested the match with numerous winners and powerful play, but in the end, the consistency of Moyo’s strokes gave her the edge against Van Schalkwyk.
Van Schalkwyk and Bezuidenhout then teamed up against Moyo and Leandre Louw in the u/25 women doubles in a highly competitive match which saw Van Schalkwyk and her partner winning 6-3, 2-6 and 11-9.
The u/10 division saw 13 entries with ten boys and three girls, a good sign for the future of tennis in Namibia.
The young guns all tried their utmost, but it was second-seeded Eric Pretorius who walked away with the gold by overpowering Christiaan du Plessis 8-4 in the quarterfinals, Shafishina Shimali 8-5 in the semi-finals, and the 1st seeded Breyton Bezuidenhout 8-1 in the finals. Shimali ended up third.
In the men’s u/25 division, there was no stop to first seed George Louw, who recently returned from an International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tournament in Botswana. He beat Sarel Janse van Rensburg, who came third, 6-4, 6-2 and Elias Shikongo 7-5, 6-0 to take the gold.
Girls u/16 merged with the two players from the women u/25 division. Leandre Louw came out on top by overpowering Tjijandeua Mbetjiha 6-3, 6-0, after which she had to fight to the last point to get the better of Dominique Theron with 4-6, 6-3 and 10-8, a match that could have gone either way. Theron took silver and Mbetjiha bronze.
The Namibia Tennis Association’s Chairperson thanked Sanlam for their sponsorship and support over the years.
“The game of tennis is a stepping stone into real life where players learn to trust themselves and believe in themselves and eventually gain the confidence to play and live their lives to their fullest potential,” he said.
Sanlam Marketing and Communications Manager Denille Roostee stated that the company recognizes the importance of sports in schools and is proud to be associated with sponsoring tennis.
“The impact of youth sports participation has proved to benefit teen health, well-being and academic achievement across all socioeconomic groups. These benefits, as mentioned above, all contribute to enabling our Namibian youth to develop into confident individuals,” she says.
The podium results are as follows:
1st: Janah King
2nd: Victoria Jansen
3rd: Alexandra de Witt
1st: Eric Pretorius
2nd: Breyton Bezuidenhout
3rd: Shafishina Shimali
Doubles 1st: Breyton Bezuidenhout and Shafishina Shimali
Doubles 2nd: Chirstiaan du Plessis and Phillip Nel
1st: Linda Alemu
2nd: Emma Brinkmann
3rd: Secilia Nghitewapo
1st: Johan Theron
2nd: Nathan Fundisi
3rd: Tadiwa Mombeyarara
Doubles 1st: Johan Theron and De Witt Bergh
Doubles 2nd: Nathan Fundisi and Tadiwa Mombeyarara
1st: Minenhle Moyo
2nd: Mari van Schalkwyk
3rd: Joanivia Bezuidenhout
Doubles 1st: Linda Alemu and Emma Brinkmann
Doubles 2nd: Hilya Nana Campbell and Natalia Ouses
1st: Lemual Kahindi
2nd: Kyle Els
3rd: Henlou du Toit
Doubles 1st: Johan Pieters and Henlou du Toit
Doubles 2nd: Kyle Els and Alexander Mocke
1st: Juan Kuhn
2nd: Antonio Tchivanda
3rd: Stephan Koen
Doubles 1st: Ruan Calitz and Eduan Schollij
Doubles 2nd: Lance and Lemuel Kahindi
1st: Leandre Louw
2nd: Dominique Theron
3rd: Tjijandeua Mbetjiha
Doubles 1st: Joanivia Bezuidenhout and Mari van Schalkwyk
Doubles 2nd: Leandre Louw and Minenhle Moyo
1st: George Louw
2nd: Elias Shikongo
3rd: Sarel Janse van Rensburg
Doubles 1st: George Louw and Sarel Janse van Rensburg
Doubles 2nd: Elias Shikongo and Antonio Tchivanda
In the photo: U/25 Women winners: Tjijandeua Mbetjiha 3rd, Dominique Theron 2nd, Liandre Louw 1st awarded by Sanlam Financial Advisers Johan Smit and John Orren.