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Kiro claims title in Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein proved to be a happy hunting ground for Lynn Kiro, one of the country’s brightest tennis prospects, on Monday.

Kiro originally from Cape Town, but, now training at the ITF Training centre in Pretoria, defended her Under-18 Key Health National Junior tennis title in the Free State capital. Kiro who has just returned from duty in Mexico where she was part of the South African junior Fed Cup team, beat third seeded Chloe Heerden (Western Province), 6-0 6-2 in the final.

What makes Kiro special is that the tall, strong player is only 16 years old and for the past two years playing up an age group has been triumphant. ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£I am very happy to have won today. I am working hard at being the best I can be and playing out of my age group is always a challenge, but, the win has helped me prove to myself that the hard work is paying off and my strategy is workingÔÇØ said Kiro following her victory.

The Boys Under-18 title was won by tournament favourite, Warren Khun of Johannesburg in a hard fought battle over second seed Christiaan van der Burgh of Boland 6-2 3-6 6-3.

In a minor upset in the boys Under-16, third seeded Lloyd Harris of Western Province came from a set down to beat top seeded Ryan Laubser of Gauteng East. After losing the opening set 3-6, Harris found himself a break and 3-4 in the second. But, Harris fought back to win the second set 7-5 and the final set 6-3 to win his career second national singles title. Harris who won the national title when he was Under-12 was an unlucky losing Under-14 finalist last year. ÔÇ£Tennis is my life and wins like today make my love for the game even more sweetÔÇØ said Harris. ÔÇ£I am working at being a professional and when you win a national title you realize that the effort and dedication from me, my family and coach pays off.ÔÇØ

In the girls Under-16, giant killer Bianca Birkenstock of Durban crowned the week of her life when she beat Free State’s fifth seed Nelsie Vester 7-6 (6) 6-2.

In the Under-14 age group, Brandon Laubser the younger brother of Ryan who reached the Under-16 final, was far too composed for Calvin Jordaan of Cape Town. Laubser beat Jordaan, the fifth seed 6-2 6-4 to win the title. The girls title was won by top seed Nadine De Villiers. In a one vs two final, De Villiers beat Kimberly Botha of North West 6-3 6-3.

In the Under-12 age group, the boys title was won by Christiaan Worst and the girls title went to Margo Landman.


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