Junior tennis's Fortman is one to watch

2009-01-12 00:00

THE Braaiketts KZN Open and junior tennis tournament that ended at Kershaw Park on Sunday was a resounding success with a number of players indicating promise for the future.

Among the interesting results, the girls’ U18 singles title comfortably went the way of Thobe Molefe after a 6-1 6-2 win over Mandy Mallen, while Wartburg’s Stefan Fortman was a 6-4 6-2 victor against a game Shaun Leagas in the U18 boys’ final.

Fortman is an accomplished player who is professional in his outlook. Last year’s number one in the SA U16 age group has the goods to go far in the tennis world, but only time will tell.

Molefe’s singles triumph was particularly noteworthy as it came in a strong age-group entry that also included Lizel Birkenstock and last year’s champion Kerry Hall.

Another promising player, Samantha du Toit, was too good for Howick’s Palesa Hlela in the girls’ U10 singles final and it would have been interesting to see how the outcome would have gone against another fine U10 player, Maxine Bateman, who opted to play in the U12 division.

Mudiwa Llobell was something of a surprise winner in the boys’ U12 age group, the left-hander putting in an outstanding performance to beat the fancied Ferdie Luttig 6-4 after coming back from a 4-2 deficit.

The KZN Open titles (reported on in yesterday’s Witness) went to Raven Klaasen in the singles with the doubles going to Klaasen and BJ van Rensburg.

The final two matches wrapped up five days of absorbing tennis and the higher standard of play this year among the 180-plus players is a tribute to the efforts put in by sponsors E&C Charcoal and their staff, plus the other volunteers who helped make the tournament what it was.

RESULTS

Junior singles winners and runners-up - Boys’ U18 singles: Stefan Fortman and Shaun Leagas; U14: Daniel Sibbald, Andrew Narramore; U12: Mudiwa Llobell, Ferdie Luttig; U10: Damon Kesaris, James Redfern; U8: James Kiln, Luc Pousson. Girls’ U18 singles: Thobe Molefe, Mandy Mallen; U14: Cayleigh Conradie, Rachel Barnard; U12: Megan Nel, Bianca Birkenstock; U10: Samantha du Toit, Palesa Hlela; U8: Shannon Firman, Sarah Philpot.

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