Ghana’s juvenile tennis star Reginald Okantey won bronze in the boys singles event at the 2019 International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tour J4 which ended last Saturday at the Stadium O’mini Sports in Lome, Togo.
Myko Yohan Kouame from Cote d’Ivoire won gold after walloping Czech Republic’s Mathias Musil 6-4, 6-4.
Okantey grabbed the bronze after recording a 6-2(rtd) victory over Benin’s Vence N’tcha who retired after losing the first set in the third place match.
The 18-year-old tennis sensation gave a good account of himself at the six-day tournament dispatching Indian and tournament’s number one seed Aaryan Zaveri 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals to pick a slot to the semis.
However Okantey’s dream of qualifying for the finals was shattered after he was beaten 6-3, 6-0 by Ivorian Myko Yohan Kouame in the semis.
Okantey, the tournament’s number 11 seed, opened the competition recording a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Benin’s Aristide Setome and 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Abayomi Oluseyi Philips from Nigeria at the preliminary stages before meeting Aaryan Zaveri in the quarter finals.
“I knew that qualifying to the final was going to be tough because after winning against Abayomi in the preliminaries and defeating the tournament’s number one seed in the quarter-final, I was already tired but that shouldn’t be an excuse. I played well but my opponent played better so credit to him,” Okantey said in a telephone interview.
In the girls’ singles division, Ghana’s Naa Anyema McKorley won her first match 6-4, 6-4 against Peace Udoh from Nigeria but she was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by USA’s Ariel Johnson in the second round.
Ghana presented eight players at the competition but only Reginald Okantey made it to the semi-final.