Top-notch action as tennis players invade Mbombela courts
The 2022 Women’s Day long weekend in the Lowveld showcased sporting talents not only on the rugby field, but the tennis courts were sizzling as well.
The annual Tennis South Africa (TSA) MP Grand Prix was played at Nelspruit Tennis Club, Panorama Tennis Club, Curro Nelspruit and Penryn College.
For the first time ever, the men’s and women’s singles finalists and semi-finalists were awarded prize money thanks to the title sponsor, Westvaal Numbi Ford White River.
In the men’s singles final, played at
Curro Nelspruit on Tuesday August 9, the battle was between Reuben de Klerk and Christiaan Bell, both from North West.
De Klerk prevailed 6-3, 6-4 to win the coveted R3 000 prize money.
Finalists were awarded R1 000, and semifinalists R500 each.
Bell and De Klerk teamed up in the doubles event and nearly won that too, narrowly losing to Luke Clifton and Neal Redfern, 6-2, 2-6, 10-8.
Ana Vasilis of Maputo was the winner of the day on the women’s side. She stormed through her singles final over Annie van Schalkwyk of Gauteng North, 6-0, 6-0, before teaming up with fellow Mozambican Ilga Joao in the doubles. They defeated Kayla Steenkamp from Gauteng Central and the Lowveld’s Chané Steyn, 6-4, 6-0 in the final.
The U16 boys’ singles final was contested by Gauteng Central’s Alexander Hristov and the Lowveld’s Heinrich Rootman, with Alexander winning 6-1, 6-0.
Heinrich avenged his singles loss, however, by partnering up with fellow Lowvelder Christian Smith to defeat Alexander and Rico du Plessis, 6-2, 6-4.
In the U16 girls’ draw, Gauteng Central’s Moroesi Tuoane defeated North West’s Annemie Pretorius, 6-1, 6-2. The U16 girls were added into the women’s doubles draw.
In the U14 boys’ draw, the final was an all Gauteng North affair, with number two seed Jayden Summers overcoming number one seed Niel Erasmus, 6-4, 6-1.
Jayden then teamed up with Alexander Bell to defeat Gauteng Central’s Franco Colin and Declan Halsey in nail-biter 3-6, 7-6 and 10-6 in the doubles final.
Onto the U14 girls, where Gauteng Central’s Marjan Japarova defeated numbertwo seed Nicola Kruger from Gauteng Central, 6-2, 6-1 in the final.
Nicola subsequently teamed up with Jessica Kock from KZN to defeat Marjan and Sharania Moodley in the doubles final, 6-4, 6-2.
The U12 boys’ final was contested between Keegan Groenewald and Zian Grobler, with Keegan prevailing 6-3, 6-4.
Zian and Keegan then teamed up to defeat Cameron Kock and Robbie Smuts, 2-6, 6-3 and 6-2 in the doubles final.
Finally, KZN took another title in the U12 girls’ draw, where Lily Haley defeated the Lowveld’s Milan van Heerden, 6-1, 6-0 in the singles final.
Milan then teamed up with fellow Lowvelder Shayna Lea to defeat two more Lowvelders, Heidi Hoffman and Simoné Swart. This doubles final went all the way, with Milan and Shayna narrowly prevailing with 4-6, 6-2, 10-6.
“On behalf of Lowveld Junior Tennis, I would like to thank all the organisers involved in the administration of such a large tennis tournament. Special thanks to all the sponsors who continuously support our juniors in the Lowveld, especially Westvaal Numbi Ford White River, who made this specific tournament such a huge success,” said the chairperson, Japie Janson.
The next TSA tournament in the
Lowveld is the VDL Lowveld Slam from September 9 to 11.