Wednesday 5th February saw the National Tennis Centre, Accra, host the annual Ghana Tennis Association Competition held to determine National Rank.
Rising Stars of Africa Tennis players, George and Emmanuel, made up 2 of the youngest of the 64 competitors present at the tournament which would only see players contest one set.
Both of our young talents began with tough opening matches. George began on the centre court, defeating his opponent 6-2 in a confident and stylish fashion. Academy Tennis coach Yaya watched on from the sidelines and revealed that he was content with George’s performance:
“What I see today is better, 90% of it is in his head and he just needs to work on his focus.”
Emmanuel won the first game against an imposing and experienced rival that had almost as many extra inches in height as extra years of experience. Unfortunately, Emmanuel lost the set 2-6 to the former top ranked Ghana Junior player. Coach Yaya added:
“It was a very even match and I am delighted to see the progression Emmanuel is making when we train being transferred onto the courts in official matches. He has matched a very experienced and physically stronger opponent today and could quite easily have come out victorious.”
In the round of 32 George was drawn to play one of the highest ranked Ghanaian men players from last year. Giving away a huge deficit in size and power, appearing just minutes after his first round matchup, 15 year old George battled to a very credible 4-6 defeat in the intense afternoon sunshine. The quality of his opponent brought out a rousing and improved performance that captivated the crowd with some dazzling rallies and fantastic winning shots.
The boys acquitted themselves in admirable fashion and did not look out of place amongst the nation’s best players. Coach Yaya evaluated the performances:
“The main thing we have been working on is trying not to finish on every point. This aspect of both players’ performance pleased me today. The focus and mental aspects were good.”
A tired George said that he would be working harder on the physical side of his training after tiring greatly in his close defeat to one of the top Ghanaian mens players.
With the talent the Rising Stars of Africa boys have demonstrated and possess, coupled with the quality of their play and attitudes against bigger, stronger and more experienced opponents, it will surely only be a matter of time until they are challenging each other and the other, younger, Tennis Academy players in the finals of this and other tournaments.