The cream of South Africa’s junior tennis talent travel to Stellenbosch next week for the 2010 The Nike Junior Tour Masters. The tournament will be played at The Kainos Tennis Academy from 15ÔÇô17 October.
The tournament, the world’s most prestigious and biggest junior tennis initiative is played by 64 000 players from 30 countries around the world. The Nike Junior Tour has been played in South Africa since 1998.
Catering for the Under-12 and Under-14 players, the Nike Junior Tour in South Africa comprises of six tournaments played throughout the year in various centres around the country. The top six players on the year end Nike Junior Tour race automatically qualify for the Stellenbosch showdown with two wild cards per agre group nominated by The South African Tennis Association.
World Number One, Rafael Nadal, patron of the Nike Junior Tour and three-times winner as a junior said that South Africa is an established tennis nation with a rich tennis history and he hoped that the Nike Junior Tour would compliment this tradition and ┬áencourage all the junior players of South Africa to work hard and earn their spot on the professional circuit.
ÔÇ£I have very good memories of South Africa having won two of my three Nike Junior Tour events at Sun City and then being invited as a guest back to South Africa for the NJT International Masters in 2003ÔÇØ said Nadal. ÔÇ£I also was in your country earlier this year to celebrate with my Spanish soccer team winning the Fifa World Cup. On all four occasions that I have been in South Africa, I enjoyed the good weather, beautiful scenery and the warm, friendly people. I even rode on a elephant!ÔÇØ said Nadal.
The tournament is played in a round robin format with cross over semi finals. The eventual winners in the four age-groups will then represent South Africa at the Nike Junior Tour International Masters to be played in December at Club Med Columbus Isle in The Bahamas.
This years participants are;
Under-12 boys: Cules Gerber (Gauteng North), Gavin Morris (KwaZulu Natal), Calvin Jordaan (Western Province), Filip Aleksic (Western Province), Jurgen Badenhorst (Boland), Philip Henning (Free State ÔÇô wild card) and Richard Thongoana (Gauteng Central ÔÇô wild card)
Under-14 boys: Philip de Bruyn (Gauteng North), Ruben Alberts (Gauteng North), Michiel van Schoor (Boland), Trent Botha (Western Province), Raubenheimer Gerber (Gauteng North),┬áChristiaan La Grange (Gauteng North), Musawenkosi Mpondi (KwaZulu Natal ÔÇô wild card) and Philip Franken (Boland)
Under-12 girls: Nadine de Villiers(Gauteng Central), Lee Barnard (Northern Cape), Jone Kruger (North West Province), Zani Barnard (Northern Cape), Cindy Dorrington (Boland), Ciney Bekker(South West Districts), Wilanie van Zyl (Eastern Province ÔÇô wild card) and Dana Arries (Western Province – wild card)
Under-14 girls: Theresa van Zyl (Northern Cape), Chelsea Steward (Western Province), Janet Koch(Boland), Nelise Verster (Free State), Anuinica Brits (North West Province), Louise-Mare Botes(Free State), Ilze Hattingh (KwaZulu Natal – wild card) and Sarah Sarjoo (KwaZulu Natal – wild card)