By Michael Kachitsa
African tennis achieved a major milestone, with two boys from the continent ranking in the Junior Top 20 for the first time in history.
Eliakim Coulibaly, from Cote D’Ivoire, climbed 10 places in the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors Rankings presented by IMG Academy on Monday to reach a career-high No. 16 and join South Africa’s Khololwam Montsi in the Top 20.
Coulibaly and Montsi, the junior world No. 12, both enjoyed a strong end to 2019, with Coulibaly reaching the quarter-finals at the Grade A Orange Bowl event in Plantation, where it took eventual champion and Junior World Champion Thiago Agustin Tirante to stop him, while Montsi won his sixth title of the year – and first at Grade A level – in Cape Town in his penultimate tournament of the year.
The two players, both 17, have received significant support from the ITF and Grand Slam Development Fund over the years.
Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) (French: Confédération Africaine de tennis) is the continental governing body of tennis in Africa. It is the non-profit private organization based in Tunis and affiliated with International Tennis Federation. The main aim of the CAT is to regulate the rules of tennis in the African continent, to develop the fundamental infrastructures for the sport, and to popularize it throughout the continent.
For this, CAT also recognizes the excellence of professionals in the field of tennis, including players and member associations with awards and accolades. It is the largest regional body of the tennis with 50 member countries. English and French are the official languages of the organization. According to CAT, African continent is divided into five different zones on the geographical basis with each zone has its own zonal head.