Stellenbosch, South Africa – JD Malan is the favourite to win the SAS ITF Junior 1 tennis tournament that is played next week at the Coetzenburg tennis courts.
Action starts on Monday 20 October and the finals will be played on Friday 24 October. This is the first of two SAS Junior ITF tournaments in Stellenbosch. The second tournament is from 27 October to 1 November. Boys and girls will play in the tournaments.
Qualifying rounds will be played in the two days leading up to the tournament.
Malan is ranked number one for the first tournament and is the favourite to walk away with the title. The 16-year-old is not fased by rankings and labels of being the favourite though. “To be ranked number one doesn’t bother me really. I like being ranked high. It sometimes helps to have some easier matches early in the tournament but in general I don’t think about rankings though. In the end I have to win all my matches to win the tournament. I want to give my best, becauseanybody can win on the day, but I believe in my abilities when I play my best tennis,” said Malan.
Malan is along with Damon Kesaris and Rossouw Norval the top three ranked players and all from South Africa. Other countries represented include England, Bulgaria and Ireland. “A number of good players have entered the tournament. Every game is going to be tough,” said Malan.
The youngster added that playing Stellenbosch is going to be very special. “Stellenbosch is one of my favourite tournaments. Even though the grading is not very high yet, I love playing in the tournaments here. I also grew up in Stellenbosch and it is here where my tennis playing days started. It is very special playing here.”
Twins Lee and Zani Barnard are the first two ranked players in the girls’ draw for the tournament.
The seeds are as follows;
- JD Malan (RSA);
- Damon Kesaris (RSA);
- Rossouw Norval (RSA);
- Giles Hussey (GBR);
- Philip Franken (RSA);
- Maximilliam Grobbelaar (RSA);
- Rhys Milne (RSA) and
- Altus Karsten (RSA);
- Lee Barnard (RSA);
- Zani Barnard (RSA);
- Nadine de Villiers (RSA);
- Georgia Lawson (GBR);
- Nicole Petchey (RSA);
- Minette van Vreden (RSA);
- Elizabeth Pam (NGR) and
- Eva Vedder (NED);