Christiaan Worst, 19, raised in Pretoria, turned his summer vacation at American College into a lucrative vacation by winning the Wilson 150,000 men’s tennis title at the Gauteng East Tennis Center in Lakefield on Sunday (June 9).
The Worst, who entered the 15 seeded tournament, took home the top prize of Rand 20,000 at the TSA-sanctioned event, which took place over two weekends at the Riverside Tennis Center from Lake Benoni.
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He beat fourth-seeded southpaw Dylan Salton, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-0 in the final.
Worst is currently on summer vacation at Van der Bilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, where he is on a tennis scholarship and uses his time home to continue training.
Used to playing mostly at sea level since moving to the United States, he admitted struggling to cope with the altitude at Benoni and found himself breathing a little hard at times.
With a 20,000 rand carrot in front of him, he admitted that he felt a bit of pressure, but once he lost his initial nerves, he
in its wake. âIt’s hard to play for 20,000 rand and I had to try to get that out of my head. It’s a lot of zeros, âhe said.
The tennis pedigree runs deep in the de Worst family.
He is the nephew of former South African professional Danie Visser, a doubles specialist who won three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and topped the world doubles rankings in the 1990s.
As the seeds fell out of the women’s draw, Namibian-born Liniqie Theron edged out another unranked player, Maja Gledic, 6-4, 7-5, in a tense long-distance duel with unusually long exchanges, to taste the success in the women’s final.
Theron, 24, a coach at St Mary’s DSG School in Pretoria, told the City Times that she hasn’t played much competitive tennis recently, so she never put undue pressure on herself.
âI came into the tournament without having played for a while, but after the first two rounds that competitive streak in me seemed to come back naturally and things worked out well, I guess,â Theron said.
Seeded Connor Doig, 14, a student at St Stithians College in Randburg, took top honors in the Under-14 boys category with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Daniel Carver in the final.
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Trailing 3-5 in the second set after what he admitted was a lack of focus, Doig regained his confidence and managed four straight games to wrap up the clash.