Opening ceremony of the ITF/CAT/FRMT High Performance Centre in Casablanca, Morocco
Tunisia’s Aziz Dougaz and Egypt’s Sandra Samir stole the limelight as boys’ and girls’ champions respectively at the 2014 ITF/CAT African Junior 18 & Under Championships on 17-22 February as the event enjoyed its highest-profile staging yet.
Already one of the biggest events on the development calendar, the AJC coincided with the official launch of the ITF/CAT/FRMT High Performance Centre at the OCP (Office Chérifien des Phosphates - partner of the federation) in Casablanca, Morocco and saw a number of high-profile tennis personalities present to mark the occasion.
ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti, President Confederation of African Tennis Tarak Cherif, President of the French Tennis Federation Jean Gachassin and President of Tennis Europe Jacques Dupre were all in attendance, with the Confederation of African Tennis organising its Annual General Meeting involving 30 delegates on Friday 21 February.
The AGM covered a range of different topics involving the future of the recently-launched centre, including strengthening tennis ties between Africa and Europe with exchange projects in partnership with Tennis Europe.
Twenty-four players from 14 countries are currently based at the High Performance Centre, including AJC boys’ event winner Dougaz, with players training there aged between 13 and 19 years old. Ninety-two players from 15 countries took part in the African Junior Championships overall.
Dougaz defeated South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 64 63 in the boys’ final after junior world No. 17 Sandra Samir had battled through an all-Egyptian affair in the final of the girls’ event, defeating Mayar Sherif 63 26 60.
Both Dougaz and Samir were presented with their trophies by Ricci Bitti and Cherif, while the official opening ceremony for the High Performance Centre had taken place in between the two singles finals.
The African Junior Championships for the 16 and under and 14 and under age groups will take place in Nairobi in March.