Stage set for crackling youth final contest

The measuring has been done and the numbers were cut down to two players in each of the Under-12 and Under-14 boys and girls age groups last week when the semifinals of the Nike Junior Tour South African Masters were decided in Pretoria.

The measuring has been done and the numbers were cut down to two players in each of the Under-12 and Under-14 boys and girls age groups last week when the semifinals of the Nike Junior Tour South African Masters were decided in Pretoria.

The finals, which will be played on Sunday morning, will confirm the four players to represent South Africa at the Nike Junior Tour International Masters at Clubmed Sandpiper in Miami, Florida, in the US from October 12 to 19.

In the girls Under-12 age group, wild card entry Ilze Hattingh (KZN) continued her unbeaten run when she overpowered Chelsea Steward (WP) 6-2, 6-1 in the first semifinal.

In Sunday's final Hattingh will meet top seed Therese van Zyl (NC) who was a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 winner over Megan Nel (KZN).

In the boys Under-12 semifinals tournament favourite Philippe Franken (Boland) beat fellow Bolander Maxime de Clippel 6-3, 6-0, whilst Phillip de Bruyn (GN) overcame a first set deficit to beat Yaseen Ibrahim (KZN) 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.

In the girls Under-14 Sunday's final will be contested between Natasha Fourouclas (MP) and Lenice van Eyk (LIM).

Fourouclas, who hasn't lost a set going into Sunday's final, used her deadly and powerful forearm to crush Sarie Swanepoel 6-1, 6-2.

Van Eyk in the battle of the former Nike Junior Tour Champions was beat Kay-Leigh Nicholas (Border) 6-3, 6-3.

In the Boys Under-14 Brandon Ebbersey (GC) outplayed Adrian Berry (FS) in what turned out to be the match of the day.

Ebbersey fought back after losing the first set to overcome a tenacious Adrian Berry 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Ebbersey will play Marc van der Merwe (Bol) in Sunday's final. Van der Merwe overcame a first set scare to beat Ronnie Myburgh 7-5, 6-1. - Sapa

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