Badenhorst Reaches Samaai Open Final To Keep South African Hopes Alive

Devin Badenhorst (photo: Tennis South Africa)

TSHWANE, August 12, 2022 (Tennis SA Press Release)

Local favourite Devin Badenhorst kept his title hopes alive on Friday, racing to a convincing victory in his semifinal at the Samaai Junior Open in Tshwane. 

The only South African remaining in the singles draw, No 3 seed Badenhorst swept aside Paul Barbier of France, the No 2 seed, with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

He is set to face Danil Panarin in the boys’ singles final on Saturday after the Russian No 7 seed defeated Antoine Ghibaudo of France 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

My game plan going into tomorrow’s match (against Panarin) is just to play freely and play to my strengths, and hopefully it goes well,” said 18-year-old Badenhorst.

“I’m just going to continue with the same preparation I’ve done the whole week. It’s going to be a tough match because we both know how each other plays, but I’m going to try my best in front of my home crowd.”

Later in the day, in the boys’ doubles division at the ITF Grade A tournament, Badenhorst and compatriot Anro Nel took the runner-up spot after producing some fine performances throughout the week.

The South African pairing put up a fight in the final, but they were ultimately defeated by Barbier and Ghibaudo, who combined well to secure the title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

In the girls’ singles semifinals, unseeded player Melisa Ercan of Turkey produced a stunning upset to beat France’s No 2 seed Yaroslava Bartashevich. 

After a hard-fought battle, Ercan earned a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) victory to reach the final of the prestigious event.

She will have to be at her best again in the final on Saturday, however, when she faces top seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium, who beat Ella McDonald of Great Britain 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the other semifinal. 

In the last match on Friday’s penultimate day of competition, top seeds Costoulas and Luca Udvardy of Hungary were set to face Bartashevich and Zhanel Rustemova, the No 2 seeds, in the girls’ doubles final.


Singles – Semifinals


3-Devin Badenhorst (RSA) bt 2-Paul Gazeu (FRA) 6-4, 6-2

8-Antoine Ghibaudo (FRA) bt 7-Danil Panarin (RUS) 6-3, 6-4


1-Sofia Costoulas (BEL) bt 4-Ella McDonald (GBR) 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2

Melisa Ercan (TUR) bt 2-Yaroslava Bartashevich (FRA) 3-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(5)

Doubles – Finals


2-Paul Gazeu / Antoine Ghibaudo (FRA) bt 4-Devin Badenhorst / Anro Nel (RSA) 6-2, 6-4


1-Sofia Costoulas (BEL) / Luca Udvardy (HUN) vs 2-Yaroslava Bartashevich (FRA) / Zhanel Rustemova (KAZ)