Van Schalkwyk reaches Hillcrest final 

Connor van Schalkwyk in action. File photo

Namibia’s top tennis player, Connor van Schalkwyk, gave a great performance to reach the men’s singles final at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) M15 Hillcrest tournament in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Van Schalkwyk (19) had to progress through a qualifying round to be able to compete in the tournament proper.

In the qualifying round, he beat Luca Bluett of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1 and Reuben Bakker of South Africa 6-4, 6-4 to progress to the main draw of the ITF Hillcrest tournament, with the prize money amounting to US$15 000 (N$272 400).

In the first round, Van Schalkwyk beat Russia’s Alexey Aleshchev 6-0, 5-7, 6-3, before beating the fourth seeded Luca Fantini of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

In the quarterfinals, he beat another seeded player, the seventh seed, Jesse Flores of Costa Rica, while in the semifinals, he beat South Africa’s Devin Badenhorst 6-4, 7-6, to reach the final.

His winning streak came to an end in the final when he came up against the second seeded Phillip Henning of South Africa, who won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to take the title.

Van Schalkwyk and his brother Codie qualified for the doubles tournament where they beat Alexey Aleshchev and Daniil Savelev of Russia 6-1, 6-3 in the first round, before losing 6-4, 7-6 to the second seeds and eventual champions, Alec Beckley of South Africa and Alexander Donski of Bulgaria.

In the final, Beckley and Donski beat the third-seeded Flores and Vasilios Caripi of South Africa 7-6, 6-4.

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