Jurgens Strydom became the first Namibian junior tennis player to qualify for the Junior Wimbledon championships that is currently taking place in London. (Elisma Nortje participapetd in the senior Wimbledon championships in 1992 -1993.)
Jurgens managed to beat Igor Nikitin from the Ukraine 62, 6 2, in the first qualifying round and followed this up with another victory by beating Shuhei Uzawa from Japan with a score of 6 4, 7 5. Uzawa is ranked no 80 on the ITF world ranking list.
Jurgens is currently part of the Under 18 International touring team and spent the past two months playing competitive tennis on clay courts in Italy, France and Belgium. Even though he struggled on the unfamiliar clay surfaces during the first month he managed to reach the round of last 16 in the Astrid Open Bowl championships in Belgium in May. During this tournament Jurgens beat Ameury Van Haelen from Belgium 2 6, 6 2, 6 0 and Ryan Sweeting from the Bahamas 7 6, 6 3. Sweeting is currently ranked n 24th on the junior world ranking list.
The competition at Wimbledon is fierce with all the top junior players present at the world?s most prestigious event. Jurgens now faces the biggest challenge in his career as he will be playing against third seed Leonardo Mayer from Argentina. Meyer is currently ranked number 2 on the ITF world ranking list and will provide a formidable test.
Who will win?
There is much speculation as to which of this year?s talented crop of youngsters will triumph in the junior competition at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. For many it is only their first or second outing on grass and this fact alone will surely throw up a few surprise results on the hallowed turf at Wimbledon.
Due to his fantastic run in the men's main draw Andy Murray has withdrawn from the junior event, thus opening the field for others to make their name at Wimbledon.
Current World junior No.1 Donald Young will pose a threat to all those with their eyes fixed on lifting the coveted trophy. Although he lost in the second round of Roehampton?s Grade 1 ITF Junior event this week it was only his second outing on grass. After a week?s practice on this surface, the Australian Open Junior Champion cannot be discounted and is second seed for a very good reason.
One of the main threats for the title will undoubtedly come from the recent French Open Junior Champion from Croatia, Marin Cilic. He has also shown impressive form on grass, winning the Grade 1 event at Roehampton and his towering frame and booming serves will give him a massive advantage at Wimbledon. Compatriot Petar Jelenic?s game is also ideally suited to grass and he will be tough opposition for any opponent. Jelenic, who lists the green stuff as his favourite surface, is also in a rich vein of form and, having won the Grade A Italian Open in May, is capable of going all the way.