Tennis stars in the making

2015-05-05 06:00

Teenager Tevin Goodwin of the Mitchell’s Plain tennis club started a trend with his outstanding performance on the junior circuit in 2014.

This saw his younger club mates following hot in pursuit with their pervasive presence on the tennis scene.

Their performances are certainly enhanced as they remain mindful of parental sacrifice as no stone is left unturned to see their little ones succeed in the very game they came to adore themselves. And the third month of 2015 already sees Leo Matthysen boast an impressive CV. He has cemented himself as one of the hottest properties with a sponsorship in his palms and a cluster of titles at only eight years old.

The breakthrough started with a victory in the Challenger event early in December 2014, which he followed up with a semi-final finish at the prestigious Keyhealth tournament.

A doubles victory at the 2015 Mini-Series 1 showcased the expanding dimensions of his game. Here the left-hander finished fifth in singles. Matthysen cruised to victory at the Rox under-9 tournament in Stellenbosch with a 5-7;5-7 runner-up finish in the Mini Series 2 event. Then followed back-to-back victories in both the Wilson and Rox tournaments, the latter which saw him losing only one game en route to the title.

“Things are happening so fast now with nationals coming up in April”, says his proud father Nathan. He is simply reeling at the prospects beholding the rest of 2015.

The talented Mikaeel Woodman is proving a wizard in doubles with runner-up finishes in the Keyhealth and WP Classic tournaments. At the latter event he finished eighth in singles. He followed that up with a doubles victory at the Mini Series 2. Woodman is currently ranked at 80 and climbing steadily and a belief in his own potential may see the 12-year-old soar even higher.

One can only marvel at the gains Kyler Hugo has made and the prospects ahead for 11-year-old. He is currently carving his way up the doubles and singles rankings with remarkable finishes in both competitions at tournaments. At the Slazenger event in Port Elizabeth, he reached the Top 4 in the under-12 singles and Top 8 in doubles. In the WP Mini 1 he made the doubles semi-finals, which he followed up as a singles quarter-finalist in the gold section of the Mini Series 2 tournament and Top 4 in doubles. Recently he finished runner-up in doubles in the Boland Mini 1. He is also progressing rapidly up the ranking list jumping 176 places in the singles ranking from December 2014 to 1 March 2015, currently sitting at 214. His under-12 doubles ranking is currently 65, up 125 notches from 190 in December. Meanwhile, 8-year-old Sagen Hugo has already jumped out of the shadows and is already threatening to become the next Mitchell’s Plain under-10 player to break borders. His green ball victory at the recent JD tournament in Pinelands is evident at the progress he has made in the last few months.

Two more players are preparing to scorch the tennis circuit this year. Eight-year-old Athraa Isaacs attacks the ball with a feistiness and sure-footedness akin to her veteran dad, Adnaan, which saw her place fourth at her first JD tournament earlier this year. Newcomer Thomas Shanmugham (7) also made his debut at Pinelands with a second-place finish in the red ball section

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