Story by Mthokozisi Dube
Budding Zimbabwean tennis players are taking advantage of the ongoing International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament in Bulawayo to improve their rankings.
Ranked 900th in the world according to the ITF rankings, Zimbabwean top seed in the boys’ category, Thompson Thomu is targeting to go all the way and win the ongoing J30 tournament, which comes in two formats, the singles, and doubles.
“I need to go all the way and win this tournament. Actually, every Zimbabwean stands a good chance. We need to utilise these tournaments,” said the Zimbabwean top seed.
There is a shared feeling among the players with top female seed, Tanyaradzwa Midzi who is ranked 600th also gunning for glory to move up the rankings.
“I want to be a finalist, which will help me improve my rankings. Competition is stiff but I am ready for the challenge,” noted Midzi.
The two Zimbabwean top seeds had a decent start after winning their opening matches in the two-legged seven-day tournament.
Thomu beat China’s Junzhey Fu 6-0, 6-2, while Midzi posted a similar victory over fellow countrymen, Simphiwe Malunguza.
Tournament director, Tarwirwa Chikunichawa is convinced the platform is an opportunity for players to improve their rankings.
“We have been hosting these tournaments and hosting them here gives our players an opportunity to feature continuously and improve their rankings by acquiring points,” he said.
“Most of our players had a challenge attending these tournaments outside the country, so it’s a plus to us,” he added.
Twelve countries are battling for honours in the under 18 boys and girls’ tournament, while a similar tournament is set for Harare in July.