Over the weekend, Botswana sent the brightest of its emerging tennis starlets to represent her at the ITF under 18 Grade 3 Stellenbosch tournament in South Africa. The tournament started this past weekend on Saturday.
Botswana’s team, which is under the tutelage of Lefa Sinanda as head coach, is made up of tennis sensation Ekua Youri, Chelsea Chakanyuka and Denzel Seetso.
Whereas Barcelona Tennis Academy based Youri is making waves in Europe, both Seetso of Cue tennis and Chelsea of Notwane Tennis club are the two hottest talents making their names here in Botswana.
Unfortunately, the local based duo of Seetso and Chelsea have had a difficult tournament thus far. In his first outing in the first round of qualifying on Sunday, Seetso lost 3 – 6, 5 – 7 to Wian Roothman of South Africa.
The same fate awaited Chakanyuka, who, after having a bye in the first round, lost to 6-4, 3-6, 4-10 to Carli Kruger of South Africa in the 2nd round of qualifying.
Youri won her 2nd and 3rd round of qualifying 6-1, 6-2 (against Hailey Robyn Troup of South Africa) and 6-2, 6-0 against Rinnah Okonjo of Nigeria.
By the time of going to press, Ekua was drawn to play against Denmark’s Natacha Schou in the singles 1st round main draw. If entries allow, she and Chelsea will be playing doubles together as well.
Notwane tennis club coach says the players are promising to end the tournament in good standings. He said: “We are hoping for a great ending, as our players are giving it their all.”