The inaugural five-day Pro Kennex International Premier Tennis Challenge took place at Selborne Park last week, with the final held on Sunday. The event saw more than 130 players, including some from as far afield as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, competing for titles in boys’, girls’, men’s and women’s categories.
The women’s singles final featured leading SA women’s player Chanel Simmonds and Bloemfontein’s Delien Kleinhans. In the end, Simmonds proved to be too strong for Kleinhans and emerged victorious. Simmonds then returned to the court with Sinazo Solani, of Boland, for the doubles finals, beating the team of Kleinhans and Gauteng Central’s Sarah Millard.
In the men’s open event, Alec Beckley squared off with Jody Claassen in one of the breath-taking matches of the day, with Beckley coming out as the winner.
The GO! & Express previously reported (“International tennis tourney in East London”
January 9), that the tournament was held in partnership with the department of sport recreation, arts & culture (Dsrac) and Buffalo City Metro. “I am happy the best of the best in the country, including top-seeded players are part of the tournament,” KM Sport founder
and tournament organiser Khayalethu Majeke had said.
“This will boost sports tourism in the region.” Dsrac MEC Fezeka Bayeni said tennis was a minority sport but despite challenges, the department aimed to take the game into the
rural areas to unearth talent.
“Infrastructure is also needed and we are working together with BCM through the municipal infrastructure grant,” Bayeni said.