Zimbabwe’s junior tennis team is currently in Morocco taking part in the 32nd edition of the African Junior Championships, and appears capable of producing good results.
The tournament offers competition in three categories – under 14, 16 and 18 – which form part of the ITF junior circuit. It gives players an opportunity to gain valuable ranking points.
The main tournament kicked off this week and the team looks up to Mbonisi Ndimande to lead it to victory. The teenager goes into the games as defending doubles champion and the losing singles finalist of last year.
Last year South African based Ndimande fell to fellow teammate and doubles partner Taka Garanganga in the Under 18 singles category.
This year Ndimande fights for pole position, as Garanganga who has since turned 18 is not part of the competition.
Ndimande will partner Admire Mushonga. The two proved to be a strong doubles team when they took part in the warm up tournament, only losing to the tough-to-beat pair of El Shebini of Egypt and Venezuelan Souto in the finals.
The pair booked a place in the quarterfinals of the main tournament after defeating Moroccan pair Amallah and Lalami 5-7 6-3 (10-6).
In the singles category both Ndimande and Mushonga have qualified for the third round and hope to improve after they lost in the qualifying round and quarterfinals respectively in the warm up tournament held last week.
Stacey Lock and Denise Atzinger represent Zimbabwe in the girls’ category. They failed to impress in the warm-up tournament with only Lock losing in the first round.
BY KUDZAYI TIGERE