Nawa Aims High After Victory At ITF J30 World Tour Juniors Championships 

Now eyeing the upcoming J200 tournament in Durban, Mark Nawa is determined to break into the top 250 by year’s end


Botswana’s rising tennis prodigy Mark Nawa clinched the coveted title of ITF J30 World Tour Juniors Champion in the boys category.

Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) has been hosting the tournament at its courts in Gaborone over the past two weeks.

Nawa’s journey to victory was marked by intense matches, unwavering mental fortitude and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Reflecting on his unprecedented achievement, Nawa expressed profound disbelief at his own success, underscoring the transformative journey he has undergone.


“It feels really amazing to win the ITF J30 World Tour Juniors Championship,” he said in a telephone interview. “It feels unreal because the old me never thought I would make it this far.”

Nawa’s path to glory was fraught with challenges, each match presenting a unique test of his skills and resilience. Recounting his tournament experience, he shared insights into the pivotal moments that shaped his triumph.

Mental toughness

“I felt quite comfortable in my first round of the tournament and played really well,” he recounted.

“My second round was really tough and I barely managed to pull through because I kept my mental toughness throughout the whole match,” he said.

The semifinals proved a formidable hurdle for Nawa who faced off against a close friend armed with an intimate knowledge of his playing style. “I’d say my semis were some of my toughest matches because I played with a good friend of mine who knew how to play with me,” he noted.

Unwavering resolve

However, Nawa’s unwavering resolve propelled him to victory, clinching a hard-fought win in the third set.

In the course of the intensity of competition, he identified his serve as a potent weapon that bolstered his success. “My serve played a huge part in my success,” he said.

“I was serving really well the whole tournament, and my mentality was at its peak. So I was really confident throughout every match.”

Navigating through a diverse array of opponents, Nawa tailored his strategies to exploit their weaknesses while leveraging his own strengths.


“My strategies varied from player to player throughout the week, depending on how they played,” he explained. “But as for technique, I relied on my forehand a lot.”

Looking ahead, Nawa maintains a steadfast focus on his academic pursuits as he nears completion of high school. “I wouldn’t say I have a complete balance between tennis and school, but I am really trying,” he said.

“I’m about to complete high school in less than a month. I am going to focus on that for now, and then I can completely shift my focus back to tennis when I’m done.”

Invaluable insights

With aspirations to compete against professional players on the circuit and glean invaluable insights from each encounter, Nawa is undeterred in his pursuit of excellence.

“My aspirations are to be able to compete with pro players on the circuit and to learn from each of them,” he affirmed.

As he sets his sights on future endeavours, Nawa is resolute in his determination to ascend the ranks of tennis, eyeing the upcoming J200 tournament in Durban and setting ambitious goals to break into the top 250 by year’s end.