DESPITE facing financial hardships, Mutare’s Mantas Tennis Academy is revelling in glory as its players continue to shine in both the local and the regional landscape.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Former Zimbabwe Under-18 player Pauline Chawafambira, recently won the Malawi Open single and doubles with her Zambian partner Miriam Zulu in October.
Chawafambira was guaranteed US$1 500, but she however turned down the prize because she is due for a college tennis scholarship at Seward Country College in Kansas, United States where former Mantas star Ronzai Saurombe is currently enrolled.
She also dominated the Harare Open while another Mantas tennis academy member Malcom Mutungamiri, won the male category beating seasoned player Liberty Nzula in the final 6-2- 6-4 to walk away with US$400.
Mutungamiri also recently reached the Botswana Open final and Malawi Open semi-finals recently.
Internationally, Saurombe who recently left for a scholarship at Seward County College also managed to raise the country’s flag high after winning the 2013 national championship intercollegiate Tennis Association Junior College doubles title in Kansas City.
The Mutare-born player, Saurombe and his partner from EI-Salvador partner dispatched Alec Bessinger and Adrien Varenne 6-4, 6-2 from Fresco College.
There is no doubt that the academy is by far the leading tennis conveyer belt with 52 tournaments players and almost 2000 development players.
In an interview with Standardsport on Friday, Mantas Tennis Academy director of coaching Freeman Nyamunokora said they are the best academy in the country, despite the financial hardships.
“The recent performances by our players shows that we are the best academy in the country. If you want to check our history, we are producing more junior national team players, as well as seniors,’’ he said.
“We work as a team and we aim to come up with the best players in the country. We are struggling financially, but we are continuing to surge on. We are also appealing to the national association (TZ) to support us in our programmes financially. We have 50 tournament players and 2000 development players,” he added.