Nelson Mandela Bay tennis ace Kaylin Bouwer will be looking to build on her strong start to the year when she heads to Pretoria to take part in a national tennis training camp later this month.
Coming off the back of a sensational win at the Eastern Province leg of the Growthpoint Super 8 at the PE Lawn Tennis Club earlier this week, Kaylin added the EP title to her growing cabinet of accolades, having claimed both the Boland and Durban titles last year.
“It feels amazing,” the Grade 12 Pearsonite said about annexing her third overall Growthpoint title.
Having not dropped a set on her way to the EP title, Bouwer admitted the competition had been tough as she battled top quality players from across the country.
“All the opponents were tough, as they are all among the top players in South Africa.
“If I had to choose the toughest match of the tournament, I would have to say the semifinal against Maretha [Burger],” she said
Having played since she was six, Kaylin has grown into a formidable competitor on court, achieving a host of notable results.
“I suppose I just fell in love with the game,” the Lovemore Park resident said. “It was my father, Eugene, who suggested the sport. He has had a big influence on my career and we played together many times when I was growing up, and still do.
“He has been with me through it all, and I can always go to him if ever I need advice before a match.”
Kaylin has represented EP on numerous occasions since her first berth in 2008, at just eight years old. She has also featured extensively for SA at various age levels since her first appearance in 2011.
Speaking about some of her achievements in her career, some memorable moments included last year where she claimed two Growthpoint titles in the women’s open section, finishing third at the SA Junior Masters in Potchefstroom last year and being selected for the SA U18 squad from which a team will be chosen to participate at the African Junior cup later this year.
Other big moments included winning the U12 Nike Masters, which led to her being called up to the SA team that competed at the International Nike Masters in 2012.
She also claimed the SA U16 national singles and doubles titles in 2016.
In addition to tennis, Kaylin has participated in athletics and achieved provincial colours in netball for four consecutive years.
Her coach, Yvonne Vermaak, has been another driving force behind her court successes, says Kaylin.
“Yvonne has taught me a very good technique, which is a very important part of any tennis player’s game, and having played on the professional circuit before, she comes with a wealth of experience,” she said.
Kaylin hopes to further her career in tennis after high school by playing college tennis in the United States, but she is yet to decide on the best place to do so.