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Young tennis stars shine at ITF Junior Tournament in Botswana



Gaborone, April 22: Junior tennis players from around the world shone at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) J5 World Tour tournament that ended in Botswana.

The week-long tournament that started last Sunday culminated in breath-taking final matches at the Notwane clay courts in the capital city Gaborone on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

South African Robbie Arends emerged victorious over Oska Poulson of Denmark in the boys' under-18 finals.

The South African youngster won the first set 6-3 before labouring to a 6-4 win in the second set as Poulson put up a fierce fight.

It was a sweet victory for Arends who had the previous day lost the doubles final where he partnered with Zimbabwean Thabo Ncube against German Joanna Gitzel and South African Kay Samuel.

In the girls' finals, all eyes were on unseeded Belgian Stephanie Ines who had dispatched fourth and fifth seed before beating top seed Louise Van Der Merwe of South Africa to reach the finals against doubles champion Nina Radovanovic of France.

Radovanovic would prove too strong for Ines at the start of the match winning the first set 6-2, but the Belgian came back stronger in the second set winning it 6-4 to tie the match at 1-1.

With spectators anticipating a close contest in the third set, Ines was erratic in her service, gifting Radovanovic an easy 6-1 win to wrap up the match.

A total 64 players attended the tournament, with some coming from as far as the United States and Australia.

All players remain in Botswana for another junior tournament dubbed Euphemia Tlhapane Memorial Tournament, which honours one of the stalwarts of local tennis.

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