Gauteng Central player Charl Morgan had arguably the best week of his young tennis career, when he clinched two titles at the Curro Junior ITF 2 which ended at Stellenbosch University on Saturday.
Morgan, aged 17-years-old, won the singles and doubles titles after having to retire in the singles semi-final last week against eventual champion, fellow South African Joubert Klopper in the Curro Junior ITF1 at the same venue.
On Saturday, fifth seeded Morgan upset close friend and doubles partner Pierre Malan, seeded two, 6-3 6-4 to win the boys singles title.
Malan of Cape Town broke serve in the opening game of the match but Morgan promptly broke back in the second game. Both players held serve until the notorious seventh game where Morgan broke again and then held serve to win the opening set 6-4. In the second set there were four breaks of serve in the first four games of the match and Morgan found himself 1-3 down. But Morgan regrouped and broke back to lead 5-4. In a lengthy tenth game, where both players had plenty of opportunities, it was Morgan who finally held on to win the game and set 6-4 giving him the title.
“It was a great week for all sorts of reasons and I am so happy to have won double titles this week” said Morgan. “After having to retire last week when I was leading Joubert Klopper 6-4 3-0 was emotionally draining. I took two days off and got treatment to my right injured knee and came into this week positive and motivated.’
Morgan was in fine form all week. Other than not dropping a set in five matches played, he upset top seed Eric Vanshelboim of the Ukraine in the quarterfinals, third seed compatriot Kholo Montsi in the semi-finals and then Malan for the title. “I was mentally prepared going into this week. I knew it was going to be a tough week and I set myself a goal of reaching the last eight, defending my quarterfinals points I won at this tournament last year. But as the week progressed I “freed up” and played relaxed yet aggressive tennis, went for everything and the strategy paid off.”
It was Morgan’s fourth international title, the second of this year. In April Morgan defended his maiden title in Botswana he won last year in April and he also captured the Mozambique title in 2017.
The girls singles was dominated by top seed Victoria Allen of Great Britain. The tournament favourite beat fourth seeded Myah Petchey of South Africa 6-3 6-2 in the final. Allen lost only fifteen games in ten sets played in winning the Curro Junior ITF 2 title. Her powerful aggressive game got the better of each of her opponents and signalled that she is a force for the future.
Allen had a real good African tennis safari, winning the singles and doubles titles last week in the Curro Junior ITF 1 and then teaming up Croatian Noa Kriznaric to win the doubles title this week.
“it’s been a real good and worthwhile trip to South Africa. To enter two back to back tournaments and win the singles and doubles of both weeks is a great achievement. I am very proud of how I played and grateful for the confidence these wins has given me’ said Allen.
The boys doubles title went to top seeds Malan and who beat second seeds Cihan Akay of Australia and Eric Vanshelboim 6-4 7-5 in the final.
Allen and Kriznaric, seeded second, beat unseeded South Africans Marette Burger and Christine Kruger 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in the girls doubles final.