Tennis ace Swart, 9, crowned champion

Under the guidance of coach Mandy Hobson, St George’s Prep pupil Evan Swart won the U10 title in the national junior tennis championships in Bloemfontein earlier this month
Under the guidance of coach Mandy Hobson, St George’s Prep pupil Evan Swart won the U10 title in the national junior tennis championships in Bloemfontein earlier this month
Image: Werner Hills

Eastern Province unearthed a promising tennis talent when nine-year-old Evan Swart was crowned the U10 champion at the Growthpoint Junior Nationals in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

The Grade 3 St George’s Prep pupil, who still has another year left in the U10 ranks, achieved one of the best wins of his fledgling career when he defeated Bogdan Mandic from Grey College in Bloemfontein in the final.

All matches in this age group were short sets (they start at 2-2) and he was down 5-2 in the first set before clawing it back to 5-5 and then winning the tiebreaker.

He did not drop a game in winning the second set 6-2.

While tennis is Evan’s favourite sport, his father Karlo said he also had a passion for cricket and hockey.

The national triumph, he said, came as something of a surprise.

“We had very few expectations ahead of the tournament and he mainly went for the experience,” Swart snr said.

“Realistically, with the older players favoured, we were hoping for a top 10 finish. We had no expectations of him winning. He only went when my parents offered to take him a few weeks before the tournament as we had to work.”

Evan has been coached by Mandy Hobson since he was three.

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