Kris Van Wyk and Lee Barnard capture double titles at The Wanderers Junior ITF
Van Wyk and Barnard both win second international titles
Johannesburg, South Africa – South African junior tennis players enjoyed a good week at The Wanderers Junior ITF tournament in Johannesburg.
In a clean sweep of titles for the host nation, Kris Van Wyk of Western Province and Lee Barnard Gauteng North were victorious in the singles on Friday.
In the boy’s singles Van Wyk, seeded four enjoyed a brilliant week considering that he had to qualify for the tournament. In the final Van Wyk beat unseeded Philip Franken of Boland 6-4 6-3. Van Wyk’s serve and volley tactics were on song in the final as he powered his way to victory with an aggressive game plan.
Van Wyk and Franken are good friends off court and have regular partnership. “I
know Philip real well and I knew that to have the best chance against him I had to come into the net especially on the
backhand side and keep it low on the backhand until I had a chance to complete the point” said Van Wyk following victory.
There were complications with Van Wyk’s entry into the tournament which resulted in the 17 year old having to go through the tenuous qualifying rounds. After successfully qualifying, Van Wyk was given a seeding due to his world ranking and then went onto win the title. Its Van Wyk’s second international title after winning his first in Stellenbosch last year.
In the girl’s singles, Lee Barnard seeded five beat unseeded Minette Van Vreden of Boland 6-2 6-2 in a relatively one-sided final. Good pace by Barnard put pressure on Van Vreden throughout the 74 minute final which forced Van Vreden into a string of unforced errors throughout the match. Good serving by Barnard also put added pressure on Van Vreden who was never allowed by Barnard to get properly into the match. Barnard dropped only one set en route to taking the tile and that was in the semifinals on Thursday when she came from set down to beat her twin sister Zani 4-6 6-4 6-2.
Like Van Wyk, this is Barnard’s second international title after winning her debut
title in Namibia earlier this year.
“I am very happy to have won today” said Barnard. “I played well today and felt good on court, was real focused and motivated. This is my second international title and I really hope there are many more.”
Van Wyk teamed up with compatriot Brandon Laubser to win the doubles title. The top seeds beat third seeded twin brothers, Francois and Okkie kellerman of South Africa 7-5 5-7 10-5.
In the girl’s doubles final, a battle between two sets of twins sisters, the Barnards beat the Botes of Free State. Third seeds Lee and Zani Barnard upset second seeds Huibre-Mare and Louise-Mare Botes 6-2 6-2.
Picture credit: BLD Communications.