Photo: Leon FreimondSouth Africa's World Junior Tennis Finals qualifying team
Egypt and South Africa headlined Africa qualifying as two of its teams qualified into the finals of the World’s Premier Junior Team Competitions.
South Africa's under 16 boys and under 14 girls won qualification into the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas finals and World Junior Tennis finals, while Egypt also saw its under 14s girls qualify for the latter event and its under 16s secure a spot in the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas finals.
South Africa’s boys’ team secured the lone spot for African nations into the Junior Davis Cup finals after going undefeated in its two qualifying matches in Tunis. Francois Kellerman and Brandon Laubser combined to defeat Tunisia’s Majed Kilani and Mohamed Aziz Dougaz 64 62 in the deciding doubles and deny the host nation a place in the Under 16s event in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on 24-29 September.
The fortunes of both nations were reversed in the boys World Junior Tennis event, which saw Tunisia seal qualification for Prostejov after completing their flawless week in qualifying with a 2-1 triumph over Egypt on Saturday. South Africa’s Under 14 boys narrowly missed out on qualification after finishing second in the group following a 2-1 defeat to the hosts on Thursday.
Unlike the one qualification spot available in the boys’ events, both the girls’ Under 14s and Under 16s competitions offered two spots into the finals and the two fiercely contested groups saw Eqypt come out as the dominant force in each.
In the junior Fed Cup event, Eqypt, who qualified and finished 9th in last year’s Junior Fed Cup finals, won all 15 of its matches across five ties. Sandra Samir starred for the group winners, dropping just 14 games across her five singles ties in assured displays that defied her tender years. Namibia took the second qualifying spot after winning all but one of its matches.
Egypt were just as dominant in the Under 14s event, securing its safe passage to Prostejov on 5-10 August after winning all five of its group ties for the loss of just one rubber. South Africa clinched the second available place after winning four of its five matches through the week. Led by twin sisters Lee and Zani Barnard, South Africa’s only defeat came at the hands of Egypt after seeing the eventual group winners overturn a 1-0 deficit to triumph 2-1 on Thursday.
As a result of last week’s action, South Africa joins fellow qualified teams Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, USA, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru in the Junior Davis Cup finals, while Egypt and Namibia follow Mexico, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, USA, Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia into the Junior Fed Cup finals.
Tunisia’s under 14 boys team have a place alongside Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Thailand and USA at the World Junior Tennis Finals, while Egypt and South Africa’s Under 14 girls’ teams will rub shoulders with Australia, Canada, Colombia, India, Japan, Peru, Thailand and USA in Prostejov.
Europe qualifying is the only remaining event to come before each of the Finals, with World Junior Tennis qualification kicking off on 30 June and Junior Davis/Fed Cup qualification taking place from 31 July.
To view the full results from last week’s Africa qualifying, click here: