Malan Beats Lock to Take Junior African Title

JD Malan of South Africa won the U18 boys singles title when he beat top seeded Courtney Lock of Zimbabwe 6-4, 6-3 in the ITF South and Central Africa U18 boys final on Saturday.

In a close match, the 16-year-old South African prevailed with his g serve and all round baseline skills.

There was little to choose between the players, who both displayed big serves, but Malan got a crucial service break midway through the first set to win the set 6-4.

He immediately struck in the second set, breaking Lock’s serve to take a 3-1 lead and then never looking back.

With Lock feeling the pressure at 5-3 down, Malan once again broke his serve to win the match 6-4, 6-3.

Lock’s case was not helped by some dubious line calls that went against him in the final set, as the match commissioner had to be called a few times to overrule the umpire.

It was a fine display by the young South African, who was only seeded fourth for the tournament and also beat the second seeded Kris van Wyk in the semifinals.

The girls singles final was contested by twin sisters Lee and Zani Barnard and they both gave the crowd a great match with powerful strokes and long rallies from the baseline.

The match was very close, with both players breaking serves in the first set before Lee won it on a tie break, 7-6 (6-3).

The second set went according to serve until Lee broke Zani to take a crucial 5-4 lead, before serving out to win the set 6-4 and the match.

Both Barnard twins were unseeded and beat several top seeds along the way.

Zani beat the top seed Nicole Dzenga of Zimbabwe and compatriot Nadine de Villiers, while Lee beat her fourth seeded compatriot Katie Poluta.

Lee and Zani then teamed up for the doubles final, but the top seeded South Africans Nadine de Villiers and Katie Poluta were too g, winning the match in straight sets.

The boys doubles title was won by the third seeded South African brothers Okkie and Francois Kellerman, who beat Hubert Badenhorst of South Africa and Dylan Foo-Kune of Mauritius 6-3, 7-6 in the final.

The Grade 4 tournament had seen more than 100 junior players from numerous Southern African and European countries competing in Windhoek over the past week.

Most of the players will once again be in action in a second Grade 5 tournament which starts at the Namibia National Tennis Courts in Olympia on Monday.

Source : The Namibian