Bhunu Beats the Best for U18 Trophy

Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe overcame stubborn resistance from SA's Jessica Simpson in the girls’ finals. However the fourth seeded Bhunu held her nerve to run out a 7-5 6-2 win against the 3rd-seeded Simpson in Stellenbosch on Friday, 26 October, 2012. Photo: Peter Barnard

You’ve got to hand it to Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhunu, the girls’ Under-18 winner at the SAS Junior ITF 2 tournament in Stellenbosch, who overcame stubborn resistance from SA’s Jessica Simpson to run out a 7-5 6-2 win against the 3rd-seeded Simpson in Stellenbosch on Friday, 26 October, 2012.

Bhunu’s win saw her win the 2012 SAS Junior ITF singles final at the Maties Tennis Club. Photo: Peter BarnardThree months go Bhunu required surgery to repair damage to her hand and she only returned to competitive tennis last week.

To achieve her victory on Friday, the fourth-seeded Bhunu beat the third-seeded South African Jessica Simpson, one of the stand-out performers at the two international events in Stellenbosch over the past fortnight.

Simpson’s won the under-18 SAS Junior ITF 1 title last week, while Bhunu reached the semis and both players are presently grooming their game at the Growing Sports Foundation Academy in Cape Town.

Bhunu went into the Friday’s final on the back of an authoritative 6-1 6-2 win over the top seed Janet Koch on Thursday, and she showed the same of composure against Simpson, who battled to get game on track for most of the way.

Simpson battled with her serve in the second set and it clearly affected the rest of her game too. Bhunu, on the other hand, kept her game tight and varied her play. At times she cleverly slowed down the game to deny Simpson the pace which her solid groundstrokes seem to thrive on.

Bhunu’s hand appears to have healed well, and to date there are no sign of ill-effects.

There was glory for South Africa in the girls doubles final after the second-seed pairing of Janet Koch and Amy Olivier defeated the top seeds Nicole Dzenga of Zimbabwe and Elizabeth Kapari of Ghana 4-6 7-6 (4) (10-5).

The Zimbabwe – Ghana combination was particularly strong in their play at the net, but as the match wore on they were not able to group points often enough to make it count on the score sheet.

Collectively Dzenga and Kapari, clearly enjoying their final appearance, were overly aggressive at times, and that caused them to make several unforced errors, while the SA duo absorbed their pressure to round off a matchwinning performance in the deciding championship tiebreak.


Finals Results of the SAS Junior ITF 2, an International Tennis Federation Junior Grade 5 tournament, played at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch, on Friday, 26 October 2012:
Girls Under18 Singles Final:
4-Valeria Bhunu (Zim) vs 3-Jessica Simpson
Girls Under18 Doubles Final:
2-Janet Koch / Amy Olivier vs 1-Nicole Dzenga (Zim)/Elizabeth Kapari (Gha)
Singles Semi-final Results on Day 4 of the SAS Junior ITF 2, an International Tennis Federation Junior Grade 5 tournament, being played at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch:
4-Valeria Bhunu (Zim) bt 1-Janet Koch 6-1 6-2
3-Jessica Simpson bt 2-Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) 6-0 6-4
Doubles Semi-Final Round:
2-Janet Koch /Amy Olivier bt Lize-Elfrida Moolman (Nam)/Katie Poluta 6-2 6-3
1-Nicole Dzenga (Zim)/Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt 3-Huibre-Mare Botes/Louise-Mare Botes 6-2 6-0
Singles Quarter-final Results on Day 3 of the SAS Junior ITF 2, an International Tennis Federation Junior Grade 5 tournament at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch on Wednesday, 24 October:
1-Janet Koch bt 8-Louise-Mare Botes 6-1 6-2
4-Valeria Bhunu (Zim) bt Vanja Klaric (Srb) 6-0 6-3
3-Jessica Simpson bt Amy Olivier 6-1 6-0
2-Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt 6-Huibre-Mare Botes 6-1 6-3
Doubles First Round:
Morgan Dickason/Chelsea Steward bt Mia Aleksic/Flyora Shiyanova (Rus) 6-3 6-3
Kiana Neethling/Nina van der Berg bt 4-Vanja Klaric (Srb)/Marli van Heerden 3-6 6-1 [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][13-11]
Quarterfinal Doubles:
1-Nicole Dzenga (Zim)/Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt Morgan Dickason/Chelsea Steward 6-4 6-4
3-Huibre-Mare Botes/Louise-Mare Botes bt Manuela Huckfeldt/Eunice Rohlandt 6-2 6-0
Lize-Elfrida Moolman (Nam)/Katie Poluta bt Kiana Neethling/Nina van der Berg 6-4 6-2
2-Janet Koch/Amy Olivier bt Georgina Axon/Louise Ronaldson (GBR) 5-7 6-2 [10-7]
First Round Results on Day 2 of the SAS Junior ITF 2, an International Tennis Federation Junior Grade 5 tournament at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, 23 October:
Emmanuelle de Beer (Mri) bt Kirsty Orton 6-0 6-1
Marnelle Boshoff bt Flyora Shiyanova (Rus) 2-6 6-1 6-4
8-Louise-Mare Botes bt Nina van der Berg 7-6(5) 6-1
Katie Poluta bt Minette van Vreden 6-3 6-1
7-Marli van Heerden bt Georgina Axon (GBR) 6-3 4-6 6-4
5-Nicole Dzenga (Zim) bt Danielle du Plooy 7-5 6-2
Louise Ronaldson (GBR) bt Kiana Neethling 6-0 6-1
Lize-Elfrida Moolman (Nam) bt Mabru Uys 6-0 2-6 7-6(7)
Second Round Results on Day 2:
1-Janet Koch bt Emmanuelle de Beer (Mri) 6-1 6-2
8-Louise-Mare Botes bt Marnelle Boshoff 6-3 3-6 6-2
4-Valeria Bhunu (Zim) bt Katie Poluta 6-1 6-2
Vanja Klaric (Srb) bt 7-Marli van Heerden 6-1 6-1
Amy Olivier bt 5-Nicole Dzenga (Zim) 5-7 6-3 6-2
3-Jessica Simpson bt Louise Ronaldson (Gbr) 6-2 6-1
6-Huibre-Mare Botes bt Lize-Elfrida Moolman (Nam) 6-1 6-2
2-Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt Morgan Dickason 6-2 6-4
First-Round Doubles Results on Day 2:
1-Nicole Dzenga (Zim)/Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt Danica Brewer/Cindy Dorrington 6-1 6-2
3-Huibre-Mare Botes/Louise-Mare Botes bt Valeria Bhunu (Zim)/Emmanuelle de Beer (Mri) 6-3 1-6 [13-11]
Manuela Huckfeldt/Eunice Rohlandt bt Sian-Frances Crowder (GBR)/Kirsty Orton 4-6 6-3 [10-7]
Lize-Elfrida Moolman (Nam)/Katie Poluta bt Caitlin Herb/Lindsay Truscott 6-1 6-2
Georgina Axon/Louise Ronaldson (GBR) bt Danielle du Plooy/Marsha-Ann van Rensburg 6-0 6-2
2-Janet Koch/Amy Olivier bt Maxine Bateman/Minette van Vreden 6-0 6-4
First Round Results on Day 1 of the SAS Junior ITF 2 (ITF Junior Grade 5 Tournament) at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch, on Monday, 22 October, 2012:
1-Janet Koch bt Danica Brewer 6-2 6-0
4-Valeria Bhunu (Zim) bt Mia Aleksic 6-1 6-0
Amy Olivier bt Caitlin Herb 6-1 7-5
3-Jessica Simpson bt Lindsay Truscott 6-1 6-1
6-Huibre-Mare Botes bt Dominique West (Walkover due to injury)
2-Elizabeth Kapari (Gha) bt Maxine Bateman 6-4 7-5
Morgan Dickason bt Chelsea Steward 2-6 6-4 6-2
Caitlin Herb bt Amy Olivier 6-1 7-5
Vanja Klaric (Sbr) bt Jone Kruger 6-1 6-2


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