Lots of action at Kershaw Park

2008-01-09 00:00

Apart from the attractive men’s and women’s open events that were previewed in yesterday’s Witness, the annual Braaiketts tennis tournament at Kershaw Park also boasts a busy junior programme.

Day one’s play starts at 8.30 am today for the 183 entrants and runs through to Sunday’s finals, from the open groups right down to the eight and under events for boys and girls.

Maxine Bateman of Underberg looks the likely winner in the girls’ eight and under, with Kendall Watson and Tessa van der Merwe the favourites in the 10 and under.

SA number one Ilse Hattingh should triumph in the excellent 12 and under entry, with competition from Megan Nel and Jenna Davidson.

The girls’ 14 and under sees a wide open field in what could be an inland versus coastal tussle. Durban’s Jodi Davidson and Caila Watson are in with big chances, but there is strong competition from local girls Cayleigh Conradie, Kirsten Porter and Sherry King. Thobe Molefe is fancied to win the girls 18 and under, although once again this is a wide open event.

Roland Gouws of Pietermaritzburg and Durban’s Greg Polmans should reach the final of the boys’ eight and under singles with the strong 10 and under entry a wide open race between Mathew Nel, Marc Conlon, Nikolai Manchev and possibly James Redfern.

SA number one in the boys 12 and under age group, Marc Polmans, is obviously favoured to win this 21-player event, but one of Yaseen Ibrahim, Ferdie Luttig, Ross van der Merwe and Luke Stevens could spring an upset on the day. The 14 and under group is headed by Amanzimtoti’s promising Ronnie Myburgh, the SA number two, although Jarryd Palzenberger and Richard Ashforth could test him.

The tussle for the R2 000 winner’s cheque in the boys’ 18 and under division will be a fierce battle as there is no obvious favourite, although Charles Norman of Amanzimtoti probably has his neck in front on paper.

While the order of play will be on the noticeboard daily, there are a number of matches scheduled for today that immediately meet the eye.

In an intriguing 10 am match on court one in the men’s open, eighth seed Brett Lagerwall takes on fellow Durbanite, the promising Clifford Morrison. Court Two at 11.45 am will witness what should be a close contest between seventh seed Seth Roselt from North West and Gauteng’s Mark van der Riet. Experienced Free State provincial player Alex Zietsman meets Pietermaritzburg’s Sunesh Vather, who is coming back from a long layoff, at 1.45 pm.

While there are no women’s open matches on day one, the junior sections are packed with promising matches. Roland Gouws meet Robert Koenig at 8.30 am in the boys’ eight and under, before tackling Greg Polmans at 2.55 pm. The pick in the boys’ 10 and under looks to be Marc Conlon’s clash with Mathew Kiln at 8.30 am, while the 9.05 am match between Luke Stevens and Matthew Swanepoel in the 12 and under should be interesting.

Melissa Glutz faces two potentially tricky matches in the girls 12 and under, as she meets Melissa Ewels at 10.50 am and Megan Nel at 1.45 pm. In the same division, Ilse Hattingh comes up against Nicola Deenik at 4.05 pm.

Marlize de Lange and Jodi Davidson match skills in the 14 and under at 10.50 am, while there are two interesting girls 18 and under match-ups on day one. Preyanka Pillay crosses racquets with Tamsyn Hall at 11.25 am and Kerry Hall faces Rachel Froneman at 2.20 pm.

A tuck shop will be open at Kershaw, as will Tony Vermaak Sports, while Braaiketts have lots of spot prizes to be won on each of the five days.

Other day one matches to watch: Boys 14 and Under: Joshua Devine vs Andrew Narramore and Dominic Koenig vs Makabonge Mthiyane (both at 9.40 am); 18 and Under: Ross Hemsley vs Ross Lagerwall (9.40 am) and Kevin Anderson vs Dean Loock (12.35 pm); Girls 10 and Under: Tessa van der Merwe vs Cheney Firman and Zandi Powell vs Darshana Govender (both at 10.15 am); Eight and Under: Maxine Bateman vs Jessica Redfern (10.15 am).

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