SuperSport Schools Plus

Westville lays claim to no. 1 with victory over Paul Roos

By Brad Morgan , in Racket Sports | Featured Racket Sports | News , at 2024-05-05 Tags: , , , , , , ,

With the best junior tennis player in South Africa, Guy Vorwerk, at no. 1, Westville Boys' High had an advantage over their opposition throughout the 2024 Kearsney Tennis Tournament.
With the best junior tennis player in South Africa, Guy Vorwerk, at no. 1, Westville Boys’ High had an advantage over their opposition throughout the 2024 Kearsney Tennis Tournament.

It was a very good weekend for Paul Roos Gymnasium (PRG), with their 1st rugby team remaining unbeaten, after adding two more wins at the Absa Wildeklawer tournament, and their hockey team successfully defending the Hibbert Shield. However, Westville Boys’ High had PRG’s number in the final of the Kearsney Tennis Tournament.

The Griffin had won the event for a first time in 2023, when they beat the 14-time champion, Paul Roos, in the final, and the teams, once again, met for the title on Sunday.

With Connor Doig, one of the leading talents in South Africa, having left Westville at the end of 2023 to take up home schooling and pursue a career in tennis, coach Charles Tsangamwe‘s team was not quite as formidable as it was in 2023, but it remained, nonetheless, formidable, especially with Guy Vorwerk, the best u18 player in South Africa, still manning the no. 1 position.

The Paul Roos players, however, were up for the fight and they gave Westville a tremendous battle, but the KZN team came through with flying colours, demonstrating a gritty character, to capture the title when they clinched the first of the doubles’ matches.

With that victory achieved, the final was ended there. Victory was Westville’s by a 14-6 margin.

Vorwerk was given a good workout by PRG’s number one, Willem de Waal, but Vorwerk’s game has improved markedly in the past year, and he took a hard-fought straight sets victory. He’s lost only three times in 2024, and all three times on the ITF circuit. Ironically, one of those losses was to Connor Doig, but they’re one-all this year against one another.

On Sunday, though, it was Westville’s depth that told, with Johannes Adam, Rhys Vorwerk and Lindo Gcwensa also winning their singles.

After a hard-fought battle, respect for the opposition.
After a hard-fought battle, respect for the opposition.

At the conclusion of the event, the top players in each position were recognised. That recognition corresponds to the success they enjoyed during the tournament. With Westville players in four of those six positions, the reasons why they won the event were clear.

The top players were No. 1, Guy Vorwerk (Westville); No. 2, Liam du Toit (Grey College); No. 3, Xander Pienaar (Paul Roos Gymnasium); No. 4, Johannes Adam (Westville); No. 5, Rhys Vorwerk (Westville); No. 6, Lindo Gwensa (Westville).

While Westville received the winners’ trophy, Pretoria Boys High, was the first recipient of the Willows Trophy, which is awarded to a team or player for demonstrating exceptional tenacity.

It was introduced to honour the massive contribution Ant Willows, Kearsney’s Deputy Headmaster, has made to the event since he introduced it in 1996. He retires at the end of this year having overseen it every year since its inception.

Kearsney's tennis team presented tournament founder Ant Willows with a gift to recognise his valuable contribution to schools' tennis in South Africa through the Kearsney Tennis Tournament.
Kearsney’s tennis team presented tournament founder Ant Willows with a gift to recognise his valuable contribution to schools’ tennis in South Africa through the Kearsney Tennis Tournament.

Commenting after his charges claimed the winner’s silverware, Westville coach Charles Tsangamwe said: “It was quite tense, but we were expecting that. They’re a very good side, so the boys had to dig deep today. It was really good tennis.”

Teamwork played a big role in Westville’s victory, Tsangamwe said: “They play for each other, and that came through in the end. They had some tough moments in there, but they came together, and that’s what I think made the difference today.”

Of course, having an exceptional talent leading the team was also a luxury, he admitted: “To have a top player like that, number one in the country, is always a plus, especially after losing someone like Connor, who was of the same standard, so we’re really grateful to have Guy. He’s going to be tough to replace, very big shoes to fill.”

With back-to-back titles for Westville, it feels as if a big rivalry is building with Paul Roos, who were, for so long, the standard-setters.

Westville Boys' High celebrates winning the Kearsney Tennis Tournament, with Guy Vorwerk lifting the trophy.
Westville Boys’ High celebrates winning the Kearsney Tennis Tournament, with Guy Vorwerk lifting the trophy.

Grey College finished third after a 15-3 win over Affies. They remain a force but, very clearly, there is a little distance between Westville and Paul Roos and the rest.

The hosts, Kearsney, should feel excited and encouraged by their showing. With a young team, brimming with talent, they took fifth place, scorching Rondebosch Boys’ High 18-0 in their Sunday showdown.

Pretoria Boys High, the Willows Trophy winner, finished seventh after an 18-0 win over St David’s Marist Inanda.

Final Standings

Westville Boys’ High School
Paul Roos Gymnasium
Grey College
Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool
Kearsney College
Rondebosch Boys’ High School
Pretoria Boys High School
St David’s Marist Inanda

Brad Morgan