Young local tennis stars heading to the French Open

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Simphiwe Ngwenya and two other young players are heading to the French Open. Photo: File
Simphiwe Ngwenya and two other young players are heading to the French Open. Photo: File


Three young South African tennis talents are jetting off to Paris, France, for the French Open. They were selected to attend the BNP Paribas Young Talent activation on Saturday.

The three players travelling to the international event are Simphiwe Ngwenya, Heike Janse van Vuuren and Devin Badernhorst.

Fifteen-year-old Ngwenya is from Cato Crest township outside Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

After taking up the sport in 2016, he was one of the outstanding performers in the second edition of the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star tennis competition last year.

BNP Paribas, the EU’s leading bank and a key player in international banking, implements a corporate social responsibility approach in all its activities, enabling it to contribute to the construction of a sustainable future.

Ngwenya said he felt fortunate to be chosen to represent South Africa.

I look forward to meeting some of the best young talents from across the world and testing my skills against them.

Outside of the Rising Star competition, his rapid progress resulted in him reaching the semifinals of the 2021 Growthpoint Junior Nationals and the quarterfinals of the Growthpoint KwaZulu-Natal Super 8 tournament.

Kieran Fahy, chief executive of BNP Paribas SA corporate and investment banking, said the trip was indicative of their mission to nurture tennis through the nationwide schools tennis tournament.

Fahy said it was especially rewarding for them to see young players grow throughout the journey of the competition and represent their country on a global stage to showcase the wealth and diversity of sporting talent in South Africa.

We’re proud to build synergies between our programmes locally, and to provide young players with the opportunities they deserve. I wish each young player the best of luck. We’ll be cheering for them from South Africa.


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