TEENAGE Port Elizabeth tennis star Kaylin Bouwer jetted out for Tunisia at the weekend, determined to help the South African under-14 girls team qualify for the World Junior Finals in the Czech Republic in August.
The 14-year-old Grade 8 Pearson pupil has travelled overseas with SA schools teams before, but her selection for the SA U14 team is recognition that she is emerging as one of the country’s most promising juniors.
She is ranked No2 in the age- group, behind Boland rival Corin de Waal, who is also in the team to play in Tunisia.
The pair will team up with Maja Gledic to play in the ITF African Junior Team Championships, which will act as a qualifier for the World Junior Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic, from August 4-9.
The clay court event in Tunisia began yesterday and two girls’ teams and one boys’ team from the continent will qualify for the World Finals.
Before she left, Kaylin said she was comfortable about playing on clay and looking forward to the experience.
“Yes, I don’t mind playing on clay and we are hoping to do well as a team,” she said.
Kaylin is coached by former professional Yvonne Vermaak and said she had learnt a lot from the world star.
Her dad, Eugene, said he felt Vermaak added so much more to coaching than just how to play the game. “She provides so much more information because she has been there and done it.”
Kaylin, who is sponsored by Prince, confirmed her standing in SA junior tennis recently when she progressed to the girls U14 singles final at the SA Nationals in Bloemfontein, ending as runner-up.
She partnered De Waal to win the doubles championship. – Neale Emslie