Mathis Bondaz from France on Saturday emerged winner in the boys' singles event after defeating Seychelles’ Damien Laporte 6-3, 6-4 at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Juniors Circuit staged at the tennis arena of the Accra Sports Stadium.
The 17-year-old tennis star dazzled the crowd with his consistency in returning virtually every ball hit at him and succeeded in defeating his opponent in both sets to take home the trophy as stake as well as to build up more points on the ITF ranking list.
Before meeting Laporte in the final, Bondaz started the tournament winning 6-3, 6-2 against Italian Alfredo De Marinis, played 6-4, 6-3 with Belgian Thorben Sannen, won 6-2, 6-0 against Ghana’s Johnson Acquah in the quarter-final and recorded a 6-0, 1-0(retired) victory over Youssef Nabil from Egypt in the semi-final.
In the girls singles division, 13-year-old Han Shi from China claimed a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Egyptian Hagar Ramadan (16-years) after a keenly contested game.
Han Shi (right) with an official of the Tennis Foundation Ghana
Han Shi earlier defeated Great Britain’s Jasmine Saunders 6-1, 62, won 6-0, 6-2 against Mya Raiss in the second round, thumped Egyptian number one seed Norhan Hesham 6-1, 6-1 in the quarter finals before meeting South Africa’s Cara O’flaherty in the semi-final game.
“I have been training so hard ahead of this competition. Before coming to Ghana I took part in the Cambodia ITF Junior Circuit but I could not reach the final so I am happy that I this trophy. I think that the Cambodia competition prepared me very well for this tournament and I am happy,” said Han Shi who is ranked 1530 in the world at the junior level.
Seychelles Damien Laporte (right) receiving the trophy from Mr Roger Crawford, founder of Tennis Foundation Ghana
With the exception of Johnson Acquah who made it to the quarter-finals, Ghana’s seven representatives in the tournament were all eliminated at the preliminaries.
The players namely Emmanuel Oppong Antwi, Bright Nii Nortei Nortey, Benjamin Palm, Samuel Antwi Reginald Okantey, Naa Anyemah McKorley and Nyanyuie Grace Tomegah all crashed out in the second round Ghana’s only hope, Johnson Acquah also lost the semi-final slot to Mathis Bondaz after he was defeated 6-2, 6-0 in the quarter finals.
The ITF-certified tournament, which was organised by the Tennis Foundation Ghana, an NGO, in collaboration with the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF), brought together dignitaries such as the CEO of the McDan Group, Dr Daniel McKorley, founder of Tennis Foundation Ghana, Roger Crawford, president of the GTF, Mr Isaac Duah, president of SWAG, Mr Kwabena Yeboah and CEO of Babolat Sports, Ismaila Lamptey.
The winners in a photograph with the dignitaries and tournament officials after the event
It was sponsored by McDan Shipping Company, Hollard Insurance, Coconut Groove Hotel, Life Time USA, Ann Natural Mineral Water, Vital Milk and SportsDrive Volunteers.
The competition which started on Monday, April 1 is divided into two sections with the second part set to begin on Monday, April 8 at the same venue.
Mathis Bondaz in action during the game