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SKHOSANA TAKES THIRD PLACE AT JUNIOR MASTERS

South African top wheelchair tennis junior Alwande Skhosana claimed the third-place spot at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters which ended on Sunday in Tarbes, France.

With eight players from seven different nations starting the boys’ singles in two round-robin pools of four players, Skhosana comfortably clinched his first two pool matches, defeating Sergel Lysov from Russia 6-0 6-0, Niels Vink of the Netherlands 6-0 6-1 but lost his third match against world number 1 Jef Vandorpe of Belgium 1-6 3-6.

Skhosana was in charge from the very beginning in both matches and dropped just one game against Vink and with a 6-0 6-0 win over Lysov, the 17-year-old booked his place in the semi-finals as runner-up in the pool.

USA’s Conner Stroud denied Skhosana a final stage spot when he ensured his place in this year’s final after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat the South African number one 6-1 6-0 in just over an hour.

“I am very grateful for taking part in the Junior Masters for the third time and very happy that I managed to improve and finish in third position this year after finishing fourth in 2016 and 2017,” said Skhosana.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy battle, but I am glad I gave it my best. It was even more exciting and different this time because I had a teammate. Mpho and I make a great team and played really well in the doubles,” added Skhosana.

Wild card Mpho Mhlongo lost his opener against Conner Stroud 3-6 0-6, staged a stunning fight against Jucelio da Silva Torguato (BRA) but fell to the Brazilian in a captivating match 1-6 6-3 4-6.

The 16-year-old Mhlongo enjoyed his first match win in his Junior Masters debut after world number 5 Riauri Logan of Britain retired at 6-2 3-6 1-0 due to a burst tube.

“It is my first time travelling overseas and playing in the Junior Masters was great,” said Mhlongo. “I played my best but most importantly I learned a lot. I am very excited that I got this opportunity to play amongst the world’s best juniors.”

Mhlongo and Skhosana produced another solid effort in the doubles final but could not match Logan and Vandorpe’s performance losing 6-4 6-2 to finish as runners-up in the doubles event.

For more information please contact Anthony Moruthane 082 382 0850 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or please visit: www.tennis.co.za