NTA fully behind Van Schalkwyk

• By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA Tennis Association (NTA) president Sam Kaulinge has said that the association will try by all means to support Connor Van Schalkwyk, who has been accepted in the main draw for the Australian Open Junior Championships in January.

Van Schalkwyk is also the first Namibian to be competing in such a high profile tournament, with Kaulinge saying that Van Schalkwyk’s achievement will open doors for local players.

The Australian Open Junior Championships tournament consists of both men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws as well as mixed doubles events.

There are singles and doubles events for both boys and girls (players under 18), which are part of the Grade A category of tournaments.

Speaking to Confidente Sport this week, Kaulinge said the association was asked by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to enter Van Schalkwyk into the draw due to his achievements.

Van Schalkwyk is currently ranked 76 in the world in the junior category.

The top three ranked ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors are Bruno Kuzuhara (USA), Mili Poljicak (Croatia) and Jacub Mensik (Czech Republic).

“We are very proud of Connor’s achievements. We were asked by the international body (ITF) to enter him since they have been watching his progress, since we are also one of the few African countries that are linked to the ITF database system that tracks tennis players’ progress. 

“Connor has been doing very well and that is down to the sacrifices his parents have been putting in his tennis career. We as an association will be fully supporting him in whatever ways we can. This will also open up more doors for other players. We just want him to achieve his goals in tennis.” 

The tournament will be played on hard court and will be taking place across a series of 25 courts, including the four main show courts of Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena (formerly Melbourne Arena), Margaret Court Arena and 1573 Arena. It is also the debut of Show Court Arena, which now makes five main tennis arenas.