Karim Hossan (EGY) and Ilze Hattingh (RSA)
South Africa and Egypt dominated both the singles and doubles of this year’s 18 & under African Junior Championships which was hosted by Tennis South Africa (TSA), the North West University and the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy (RVTA) in Potchefstroom, South Africa. As a change from previous years, the 18 & under age category was played as a separate event from the 14 and 16 & under age categories, which will take place in Egypt in April.
The event, which featured 44 boys and 31 girls from 18 countries across Africa, saw Ilze Hattingh (RSA) and Karim Hossam (EGY) both taking home gold in the singles and doubles.
Number one seed Karim Hossam defeated home favourite and second seed Wayne Montgomery (RSA) in a fairly one sided affair 63 62. Montgomery had his chance for revenge when the pair faced each other again in the doubles final. Montgomery, who paired up with team mate Matthew Rossouw (RSA) was up against Hossam and his Egyptian partner Mahmoud Zazou. The Egyptians destroyed local hopes, beating the South African pair 76(2) 75.
After defeating the number one seed, Zarah Razafimahatratra (MAD), in the quarterfinal, it was an all South African affair for Ilze Hattingh. With two convincing victories, Hattingh’s first victim, Janet Koch was defeated 61 61 in the semifinal. Hattingh’s final hurdle to overcome for gold was Madrie Le Roux, but once again Hattingh was too strong for her team mate, taking gold with another 61 61 victory.
Hattingh then partnered Le Roux to take gold in another all South African battle, beating Lynn Kiro and Theresa Van Zyl 64 64.
Although this is an individual event for valuable ITF Junior ranking points, the players also accumulated points towards the AJC Team Trophy.
Mr Nelson Amanze, CAT Vice President and CAT President of Zone VI gave a speech thanking the organisers, TSA, the University and the RVTA. He also made a special mention to all the players and coaches for their sportsmanship and fighting spirit during the week.