Tennis youngsters stumble at ITF Championships
Botswana’s national tennis Under 12 team has improved their continental ranking, despite an unflattering performance at the just ended Africa Junior Championships.
The trio of Marcus Semane, Martin Seetso and Tinashe Phatshwane finished fourth at the International Tennis Federation Championship that pitted them against Ghana, Tunisia, Uganda, Namibia and the hosts Mozambique.
The local lads qualified for the tournament after a dominant display in the regional games back in April, winning gold to book an air ticket to Maputo.
The trio however found the tough in Maputo as they managed only two wins and lost three matches. The boys overcame Namibia and the host nation Mozambique 2-1 respectively, before losing to both Ghana, Tunisia and Uganda with the same score line.
Despite the disappointing results, the team managed to move up from 15th to 5th in the continental rankings.
In an interview with the Voice Sport, coach Dimpho Leagoreng commended his team for the hunger they displayed in Maputo.
He said he was happy with the performance of his players, and the attitude they showed.
The coach said with the necessary support of all the tennis structures the boys could have done even better.
Meanwhile the U18 also took part in the ITF-J3 tournament held in South Africa 0n 24th-29th October.
The tournament had attracted some of the best talent from Europe, including France, Poland, Great Britain, and players from the United States, Egypt and India.
Botswana was represented by talented trio of Denzel Seetso, Mark Nawa, and Chelsea Chakanyuka.
Both athletes gave an average performances, with Denzel losing 6-1 6-4 to Israeli player Gur Trakhtenberg in the singles semifinals.
Mark Nawa fell to Australian player Leo Matthysen in the second round of the competition, while Chakanyuka lost 6-1 6-2 to South African Malrilouise Van Zyl.
The BTA Sports Development Officer Gaone Modisanye stated in an interview that they took part in the tournament to help juniors improve their rankings and also as preparation for the AUSC Games set for December this year.