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:

U/10 Girls

1st: Janah King

2nd: Victoria Jansen

3rd: Alexandra de Witt

U/10 Boys

1st: Eric Pretorius

2nd: Breyton Bezuidenhout

3rd: Shafishina Shimali

Doubles 1st: Breyton Bezuidenhout and Shafishina Shimali

Doubles 2nd: Chirstiaan du Plessis and Phillip Nel

U/12 Girls

1st: Linda Alemu

2nd: Emma Brinkmann

3rd: Secilia Nghitewapo

U/12 Boys

1st: Johan Theron

2nd: Nathan Fundisi

3rd: Tadiwa Mombeyarara

Doubles 1st: Johan Theron and De Witt Bergh

Doubles 2nd: Nathan Fundisi and Tadiwa Mombeyarara

U/14 Girls

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

U/14 Boys

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

U/16 Boys

1st: Juan Kuhn

2nd: Antonio Tchivanda

3rd: Stephan Koen

Doubles 1st: Ruan Calitz and Eduan Schollij

Doubles 2nd: Lance and Lemuel Kahindi

U/25 Women

1st: Leandre Louw

2nd: Dominique Theron

3rd: Tjijandeua Mbetjiha

Doubles 1st: Joanivia Bezuidenhout and Mari van Schalkwyk

Doubles 2nd: Leandre Louw and Minenhle Moyo

U/25 Men

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.