THREE Eastern Province juniors – Kaylin Bouwer, Wilanie van Zyl and Jandre Lessing – will receive guidance from one of the world's top coaches after being invited to attend a tennis clinic in Stellenbosch next month.
Sweden's Thomas Hogstedt, a former professional player and coach of leading women's player Maria Sharapova, will be in South Africa from November 6-11 for a training camp for the country's promising young players.
Hogstedt formerly coached German Tommy Haas and Chinese player Li Na before being appointed Sharapova's coach two years ago.
The invitation to Hogstedt is a Tennis South Africa (TSA) initiative and is a significant step forward in the search for the country's next group of tennis stars.
Hogstedt, regarded as one of the best coaches in the world, will be the guest of TSA and industry giants Remgro, who are involved with the sponsorship of junior tennis. "I am looking forward to seeing and training some of the most talented boys and girls in South Africa and hopefully finding the next Sharapova, Li Na or Wozniacki and a new Federer, Djokovic or Nadal," he said.
"I've been coaching many star players from around the world but never from South Africa. So I can't wait to start practising with them and maybe we can find South Africa's next top 10 players to replace the likes of Amanda Coetzer and Wayne Ferreira.
"I am very thankful to TSA chief executive Ian Smith for giving me this chance."
Joining Hogstedt will be Richard Sutton, a top South African trainer, who will deal with physical conditioning, flexibility, broader physical development, speed agility and warm-up.
The three EP juniors are emerging as a top crop of juniors in the province who have proved themselves capable of competing at a national level. Hogstedt should give them some idea of what is needed for the next level.