LOCAL junior tennis players will use home advantage to rake precious world ranking points when the country hosts the 18 and Under ITF – South Central Circuit next week in the capital city.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The tournament will be played in three legs, with the first starting on July 28 to August 2. The second leg has been scheduled for August 4 to 9.
The finals of the prestigious tournament which attracts the world’s best junior players will then be held on August 11 to 15.
Last year Zimbabwe hosted two back to back ITF Junior circuit in August with players from the world over subscribing to the event.
On various occasions Zimbabwe players would travel around the globe to play in such tournaments to earn points.
With sponsorship challenges facing all sporting disciplines in the country due to economic challenges, tennis players are struggling to finance themselves to play in such tournaments overseas.
Standardsport visited Mutare’s Mantas Tennis Academy last week and players expressed optimism and the zeal to make use of home advantage to rake in as many points as they can to improve on their world rankings.
The academy’s head coach Freeman Nyamunokora said he was taking 12 players to the tournament adding that the tournament was important for players in the country.
“This is an important tournament for our local players. This is their only chance to improve on their world rankings. Everyone is expected to do well taking into consideration that they will be playing at home. What it means is that they will be using venues that they are familiar with, so they should take it as an advantage,” he said.
Nyamunokora said the 12 players coming from Mantas were doing well in their preparations.
“The 12 players have been doing well during preparations. I am sure they are going to do well.”
Zimbabwe’s major trump cards will be Nicole Dzenga, Courteney Lock, Tadiwa Chinamo and Martin Chigahadzira.