The 2020 African Junior Championships Individual Competition has drawn to a close following five days of high-level action at the TuksTennis, University of Pretoria.
The country’s top seed Kholo Montsi gave the home fans plenty to cheer about, becoming the first South African to claim the 18 & Under African Junior Championships title since Philip Henning in 2018 in Morocco.
The 17-year-old Montsi eliminated his mate and Australian Open doubles partner Eliakim Coulibaly from Ivory Coast 6-4 6-1.
Speaking after his match, Montsi said, “I’m super happy with the victory. I have lost to Eliakim (Coulibaly) in our previous three encounters, so to come out today with a win is something really special to me. There was a moment after my match where I found myself crying – it’s a big win to get my African Junior Championships title in my last year (as a junior) and it feels even better to get a win against Eliakim because he is such a great player.”
It was Montsi’s first win over Coulibaly in their four previous encounters. Their last clash was in the 2019 African Junior Championships in Morocco where Montsi lost to the Ivorian in the semi-final round.
Later in the day, Montsi teamed up with Carl Roothman in the boys doubles final against compatriots Devin Badenhorst and Mikaeel Woodman. The top seeded pair defeated Badenhorst and Woodman 6-2 6-3 to claim the doubles title.
In the girls’ event, seventh-seeded Ines Bekrar from Algeria eased to the singles title by brushing aside Egyptian Yasmin Ezzat in Friday’s final.
The seventh-seeded Algerian claimed a dominant 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ezzat to lift the African girls singles title.
The nations will now battle it out in the 18 & Under African Junior Championships Team Competition which gets underway on Saturday at the TuksTennis, University of Pretoria.
1-Kholo Montsi (RSA) bt 2-Eliakim Coulibaly (CIV) 6-4 6-1
7-Ines Bekrar (ALG) bt Yasmin Ezzat (EGY) 6-3 6-4
1-Kholo Montsi / Carl Roothman (RSA) bt Devin Badenhorst / Mikaeel Woodman (RSA) 6-2 6-3
2-Lemongo Toumbou (CMR) / Barakat Quadre (NGR) bt 1-Sara Akid / Yasmine Kabbaj (MAR) 6-3 6-1
Pics: Reg Caldecott