Seven Ghanaian players, who participated in the ongoing International Tennis Federation (ITF) U-18 World Junior Circuit have been booted out of the competition.
Ghana registered five males and two females for the two-week competition, which began on April 1 at the Accra Sports Stadium.
However, with the exception of Johnson Aquah who made it to the quarter-finals, Emmanuel Oppong Antwi, Bright Nii Nortei Nortey, Benjamin Palm, Samuel Antwi Reginald Okantey, Naa Anyemah McKorley and Nyanyuie Grace Tomegah all crashed out at the preliminaries.
Ghana’s only hope, Johnson Acquah also lost the semi-final slot to French Mathis Bondaz after he was defeated 6-2, 6-0 in the quarter finals.
In a post-match interview, Acquah said he lost to a more experienced player but he had picked some positives and would build on them for future tournaments.
“I played a very strong opponent who I think watched my previous games and took advantage of my weaknesses. The first set was very tasking and short. I tried to put the balls at the corners of the court, but I noticed that he could reach all the balls,” said Acquah.
“I changed my playing pattern, but it was not also working for me; I was just losing points. So I lost concentration and started panicking. The second set was worse. I could not cope with my opponent so I told myself to let it go and play better in the next tournament,” he added.
Mathis Bondaz won 6-0, 1-0(retired) against Egyptian Youssef Nabil in the semi-final. He will now face Damien Laporte from Seychelles in the final on Saturday. Damien Laporte also recorded a 7-6(8), 6-2 victory over Nicholas Kanazirev from Australia in the other semi-final game.
In the girls singles category, Chinese Han Shi will take on Hagar Ramadan from Egypt in the final. While Han Shi won 6-1, 6-0 against South Africa’s Cara O’flaherty to qualify for the final, Hagar claimed 7-5, 7-5 victory over Astrid Cirotte from France in the other semi-final game.
64 players from 20 countries are participating in the ITF-certified tournament which will end on April 13.
Below are some shots from the competition.