It was Super Friday for South African juniors at the Pretoria Junior ITF in Tshwane, as Devin Badenhorst and Suzanie Pretorius lifted the boys’ and girls’ singles trophies, respectively, at Rietondale Tennis Club.
Suzanie Pretorius, seeded 8th, bagged her first ever ITF title when she upsets top seed Elizaveta Shebekina of Russia in straight sets.
The 16-year-old Pretorius, who hails from Bothaville in Free State, easily disposed of the Russian top seed 6-3, 6-3 in the girls’ singles final to claim the ITF Junior Grade 4 title in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The Russian world No. 177 junior had been a strong favourite to get her hands on the trophy after reaching the finals without dropping a set, but she was outplayed by Pretorius.
“It is always a privilege playing against a top seed player like Elizaveta Shebekina. It was a next level experience with so much to learn,” commented Pretorius.
“Winning is every player’s dream no matter at which level. And to succeed is a privilege.
Pretorius will next move on to the ITF Junior Grade 5 tournaments starting on Monday at the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
In the doubles event, South African top seeds Heike Janse van Vuuren and Leigh van Zyl defeated Norwegian pair of Emily Lunde and Nicoline Sartz-Lunde 7-6(4), 6-1 to lift the doubles trophy.
In the boy’s tournament, top seed Devin Badenhorst completed a Pretoria Junior ITF double as he added the doubles title alongside Luc Koenig to the singles victory, he had claimed just hours earlier.
Badenhorst overcame a jittery start to beat compatriot Luc Koenig, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, and win his second ITF Junior Grade 4 title.
The 16-year-old Badenhorst bounced back after losing the first set then forged ahead in the decider to take the fight out of the spirited Koenig.
Just over an over after their singles final, Badenhorst and Koenig joined forces to win the doubles crown after edging out second seeds Connor Kruger and Anro Nel 7-6(2), 6-3 in just 64 minutes.