Tennis ace in the making
JUNIOR tennis star Kaitlyn Ramduth feels at home on the court. Blessed with the technical ability to play deft drop shots and the aggression to serve up ace after ace, she has quickly established herself as one of top players on the junior national circuit.
Last weekend, Ramduth, who lives in Glenwood, came close to winning the under-12 section of the Growthpoint Junior Masters tournament hosted by Tennis South Africa.
After bombarding her way through to final of the competition in Potchefstroom which featured eight of the top-ranked juniors in her age group, Ramduth lost to second seed Jani Steyn.
The fourth seed, Ramduth’s run to the final came as no surprise given her hot form this year, despite previously never winning a game at the same competition in her two previous attempts.
“Being a runner-up in this tournament is still a huge accomplishment and I’m very happy,” Ramduth said.
After beating Rebecca Widan of Western Province and Boland’s Celinajoseph, Ramduth’s confidence grew.
“It took me a while to adjust to the heat levels, and the dryness was not something that I am used to. By the time I played my next match I was more acclimatised, and I was even more determined as the remaining matches were getting tougher,” Ramduth said.
In the semi-finals she faced the top seed Hanmare Mcaslin.
“I had played her twice this year and lost both times. I knew this was going to be a huge match, and I was ready for it,” Ramduth said.
“My biggest goal was to make the final, so I gave it all I had. I was aggressive, I attacked well, my serves worked well, I was very consistent and I put my opponent under pressure.”
She won 6-2, 6-1 to set-up a final clash against Steyn.
Ramduth began the gold medal match looking to unleash her trademark hard hitting approach but came unstuck in the first set, losing 6-2.
She battled on in the second, often dictating play, but in the end Steyn managed to stay in points longer to win by the same score line and lift the title.
“I played as best as I could, I don’t think I did anything wrong,” the Maris Stella pupil said.
“I was aggressive and I went big for all my shots, but she was just patient and somehow managed to return every ball.”
Ramduth’s coaches Gary Comins and Natalie Grandin both say they believe she is a star in the making.
An impressive consolation for Ramduth having missed out on the national crown was her inclusion in Team South Africa’s Under 14 squad for the coming season.