Thursday, 22 July 2021 08:22

Staff Reporter.

High profile junior international tennis returns to South Africa later this year, with the news that Tennis South Africa (TSA) will be hosting five International Tennis Federation (ITF) events for juniors - from late August through to late October.

The tournaments are ITF ranking events for boys and girls, and form part of the International Tennis Federation’s Junior World Tennis Tour circuit.

The series will open with a Grade 4 tournament in Pretoria, followed by a Grade 3 competition in Johannesburg. These will be followed by a Curro Grade 3 event and a Curro Grade 2 event in Strand, Western Cape. The fifth and final tournament of the junior series will be the Samaai Junior Open, a Junior Grade A tournament, hosted in Cape Town.

The Samaai Junior Open, named after local tennis legend, David Samaai, who passed away in 2019, is one of only six ITF Grade A tournaments hosted globally. Outside of the four Junior Grand Slams, Grade A tournaments are the most prestigious events on the ITF Junior Tour and includes the likes of the world-famous Orange Bowl in the USA. South African teen sensation, Kholo Montsi, captured the Grade A title at the inaugural Samaai Junior Open, two years ago, a result which saw him break into the top 20 of the global ITF junior rankings.

Tennis SA CEO, Richard Glover said, "These five international events provide a critical launch-pad for our emerging junior stars, as it provides them with multiple opportunities to earn valuable junior ranking points in home conditions. As an added bonus, the singles finals of the prestigious Samaai Junior Open will be broadcast live on SABC television platforms."

"COVID-19 has made international tournament planning extremely complicated across all sporting codes in South Africa. However, we are confident these events will take place as scheduled. Tennis is a non-contact, individual sport and with the correct safety protocols in place, is an extremely low risk activity, in a pandemic environment," concluded Glover.

Full schedule:

  • 28 August – 3 September: Grade 4, Groenkloof Tennis Club (Pretoria)
  • 4 September – 10 September: Grade 3, Wanderers Tennis Club (Johannesburg)
  • 9 October – 15 October: Grade 3 Curro, Strand Tennis Club (Western Cape)
  • 16 October – 22 October: Grade 2 Curro, Strand Tennis Club (Western Cape)
  • 23 October – 30 October: Samaai Junior Open, Kelvin Grove Club (Cape Town)

More about the ITF World Tennis Tour for Juniors:

The ITF World Tennis Tour for Juniors gives players aged 18 and under the opportunity to travel the world and develop their talent. The tour sees players compete across six levels of tournament – from Junior Grade A (which includes the junior Grand Slams) through to Junior Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 (the lowest grade). The ITF World Tennis Tour for Juniors provides a launch pad for the best players to go on and achieve success in the professional game.