Local players impress at ITF Juniors tournament

Story by Raynald Ngwarati

YOUNG Zimbabwean tennis players continue to impress at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Juniors’ Tournament underway at the Harare Sports Club.

After clinching silver at the Davis Cup Africa Group III Championships in Pretoria last Saturday, the future of Zimbabwean tennis is as bright as ever, with the local talent attracting global attention.

The tournament has given local players a chance to compete with the best and they have come out with flying colours.

The ZBC News crew caught up with England-based Zimbabwean coach Sean Channon who left the country 21 years ago and is in awe of what he has seen so far.

“We have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the event. We’ve been here for three weeks and every week has been very competitive, with very good standards of tennis, it’s been good for us to be part of that.

“One thing that’s stood out for me is some of the Zimbabwean talents and comparing it to players that we see in Europe and I see that these kids are as good. They just need exposure and that opportunity may be for them to see that they can play at that level, but it is an expensive sport it does take a lot to make that next step,” he said.

Liam Channon, who is participating in the tourney on his first tour of Zimbabwe, has also been impressed by the talent.

“I have faced some tough opponents I’ve been impressed by the level. The guy I played yesterday, Ronen Mtisi, made it tough from the way he plays his playing style is very difficult to play,” he said.

The majority of the local players have accumulated points at the ongoing tournament, and in two weeks, more junior players are expected to appear on the global rankings.

With the future looking good, this news crew could not ignore the Under 12s who were having a session under the Junior Tennis Initiative in Harare this Thursday.

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