Age category winners among contingent of 14 from Buffalo City at mini-series ahead of SA Nationals

East London junior tennis trio triumph at Nelson Mandela Bay series

East London junior tennis stars Julia Kockott, Nikhil Naidoo and Cade Clarke show off their medals following victories in their age groups at the National Mini-Series in Nelson Mandela Bay
CATEGORY WINNERS: East London junior tennis stars Julia Kockott, Nikhil Naidoo and Cade Clarke show off their medals following victories in their age groups at the National Mini-Series in Nelson Mandela Bay
Image: Supplied

Three East London junior tennis stars shone in the National Mini-Series hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay recently as they gear up for the SA National Junior Champs to be held in Bloemfontein at the end of May.

There was a strong contingent from Buffalo City, with more than 14 players taking part.

One of the more recognisable names in SA tennis, Claude Moonieyan, also of East London, finished in the last four of the senior section.

The stars for Buffalo City were the junior trio of Nikhil Naidoo, Cade Clarke and Julia Kockott, who all won their age group categories.

Naidoo won the boys U16 where he was seeded number one. The lanky, fierce striker of the ball saw off strong competition to ensure he goes to the national championships in Bloemfontein with a bit of momentum.

In the final, he beat Louis Bierman from the Western Cape 5-7 6-4 and 10-5. On the way to the final Naidoo had overpowered Matt Lekay from the Western Cape 6-2 6-3 and Keaton Holm 6-3 6-1.

In the U12 category, both girls and boys, BCM had good results with Julia Kockott and Cade Clarke winning gold medals.

Julia Kockott went to the tournament as the third seed. In the semifinal she beat the number one seed Amy-Leigh Stuart 6-2 6-4 to set up a date with Grace Kemp. In the final, Kockott beat Kemp  6-3 7-6 to cause an upset by outclassing the hometown favourite.

Five boys from East London turned up in the U12 section.

Cade Clarke, Babalwe Malotana, Uyintado Molatana, Uthandile Molatana and Elijah van der Berg were all vying for the gold medal. It would be number one seed Clarke who came out on top.

He won the section by beating the unseeded Keagan Grobelaar in a marathon game 3-6 6-1 and 14-12. On the way to the final Clarke easily beat Malotana 6-0 6-1 andVan der Berg 6-0 6-0.

“This tournament has been a good warm-up for our Buffalo City Players as they prepare for the SA National Junior Champs,” said Tennis Eastern Cape president Neil Naidoo.

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