SA to host two ITF women’s events

Tennis SA has announced that two women’s tournaments from the ITF World Tennis Tour will be held in South Africa in March and April. 

Billie Jean and South African former doubles tennis player Ilana Kloss.

Billie Jean and South African former doubles tennis player Ilana Kloss. Reuters

Tennis SA has announced that two women’s tournaments from the ITF World Tennis Tour will be held in South Africa in March and April.

This is to expand ongoing attempts to provide opportunities for South African players.

The two back-to-back events will take place at the University of Pretoria during the weeks of March 27 and April 3.

The opening tournament will be the first ITF $60 000 (close to R1 million)) World Tennis Tour event held in Africa, with the international body looking to stage more elite women’s tournaments by providing funding and support to upgrade existing events.

The second tournament, named after former SA number one and social activist Ilana Kloss, will return for the third year, but will move from Potchefstroom to Tshwane.

The Johannesburg-born Kloss, who won two Grand Slam doubles titles, is well-known for her work with long-time partner Billie Jean King in advocating for gender equality, inclusivity, and diversity.

“Representing South Africa was one of the highlights of my career and I am excited to see increased opportunities for South African players on our home soil,” she said.

“The addition of a women’s ITF $60,000 level tournament to the annual calendar is a big step to growing tennis in South Africa and throughout the region and it is exciting to have this new event and the tournament in Tshwane that carries my name as part of the ITF World Tennis Tour.”
Ilana Kloss, former SA tennis number one

The events form part of the ITF World Tennis Tour, which is the umbrella name for all former ITF pro circuit (Futures) and junior circuit tournaments and serves as the ITF’s pathway from the junior game into elite levels of professional tennis.

As such, they are expected to attract a mix of the best South African juniors, local fledgling professionals, and international players from Africa and abroad.

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