Local players were booted out of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under-18 Grade V tournament in the semi-finals stage. The week-long tournament came to an end on Saturday.
Tshegofatso Tsiang and Tsholofelo Tsiang finished the tournament in the singles semi-finals. Jordan Coutinho of South Africa won the men’s singles while Megan Basson also from South Africa won the women’s singles. Coutinho won the men’s singles with a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Basson registered a score of 6-2 and 6-4. Coutinho partnered with Paul Schwieger to claim the men’s doubles with a score of 6-4 and 6-3.
Lize-Alet and Basson took home the women’s doubles with a score of 6-4 and 6-2.
Botswana Tennis Association (BTA), vice president-technical, Oaitse Thipe said the tournament was meant to give players an opportunity to pick ITF points.
“This year we have two legs of this tournament, but next we would like to have five editions. That would enable our players to get exposure and match practice,” he said. Thipe said they had 80 players from different parts of the world such as Greece, Portugal, Great Britain, North and Southern Africa.
He said the local players did their best under the circumstances. He said they are hopeful that next time they could do more to win the tournament.
“Tshegofatso and Tsholofelo reached the singles semi finals. Tshepo
Meanwhile, Thipe said BTA has development centres, which are the feeder system for the national team. He said the centres are based in Selebi-Phikwe, Jwaneng and Orapa. Thipe said they also have increased the number of local tournaments, which are not only based in Gaborone.
He said they are hopeful that in the coming few years they expect a large pool of players with good quality to represent the country in international tournaments.
“We have players like Denzel Seetso based in Kenya and Yakua Yourie who resides in Great Britain who are being groomed into powerful players,” Thipe said. He said rankings of local players such as for Tshegofatso and Tsholofelo are expected to increase this week. He said initially Tshegofatso was ranked 825 and she is expected to move to 500. He said it means the player can qualify for the Africa Youth Games that would be held in Algeria.