- This event is a stepping stone for future tennis stars
- Raguin holds 4th rank in Africa in the U-14 boys’ category
- Recently clinched IFT/CAT U-14 African Junior Championship title
Botswana’s young tennis sensation, Ntungamili Raguin, is anxious to know whether or not he will participate in the prestigious Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships that is scheduled for 3 to 10 December 2023 in Florida, USA.
This event, renowned for being a stepping stone for future tennis stars, has seen legendary figures like Roger Federer grace its courts during their junior years.
Founded by Eddie Herr of Miami Beach in 1947, the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships have historically attracted talent from across the globe, representing more than 20 nations, from Australia to Cyprus to Sweden.
Its list of illustrious champions reads like a tennis Hall of Fame, boasting names such as Bjorn Borg, Jim Courier, Elena Dementieva, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Gabriela Sabatini, Arthur Ashe, Boris Becker, Jennifer Capriati, Jimmy Connors, and Yannick Noah.
Recent editions of the tournament have witnessed the ascent of young talents like Coco Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Bianca Andreescu, and Miimir Kecmanović.
The spotlight is now on Raguin as he awaits the decision in November that could mark his debut in this prestigious competition.
The president of Botswana Tennis Association (BTA), Oaitse Thipe, has expressed his optimism about Raguin’s prospects. “He has been doing exceptionally well,” he said in a telephone interview.
“We are officially waiting for communication. The decision about whether he goes to Florida will be made in November 2023.”
Raguin’s recent achievements have solidified his standing in the tennis world. Just weeks ago, he clinched the coveted IFT/CAT Under 14 African Junior Championship title in the boys’ category, demonstrating his remarkable skills on the courts of Morocco.
Botswana’s growing prominence
Furthermore, he secured a commendable third-place finish in the highly competitive African 14 and Under Masters Tournament held in the same country last week.
As a testament to his remarkable journey, Raguin now holds the 4th rank in Africa in the U-14 boys’ category. His story is an inspiring testament to Botswana’s growing prominence in the world of tennis.
Meanwhile, in an endeavour to nurture local talent and elevate international rankings, BTA is currently hosting two ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors tournaments.
Spanning two weeks, these events are taking place at the National Tennis Centre in Gaborone. The first tournament, which commenced on 25 September, is set to conclude on 30 September while the second is scheduled for 2 to 7 October 2023.
The tournaments have attracted players from several countries, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, France, Madagascar, Namibia, Egypt and Portugal.
BTA’s commitment to providing exposure to local players through international tournaments reflects the organisation’s dedication to improving international rankings and ensuring a bright future for Botswana’s tennis stars.