BUDDING tennis star Rufaro Magarira (pictured right)scored her maiden tournament win in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior circuit after clinching the girls’ Under-16 title at the ITF Southern African Regional Tennis Championships in Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday.
By Sports Reporter
The 15-year-old Zimbabwean, who was seeded second in the tournament beat the fourth-seeded Kelly Arends of South Africa in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Zimbabwe were denied a double after Benedict Badza came short in the boys’ Under-14 final to the top-seeded Denzel Seesto of Botswana in a tough three-setter.
Badza edged the first set, but Seetso immediately struck back to take the second set 6-0 before clinching the third set 10-6 to win the match.
It was Seetso’s third U-14 African title over the past year after previous successes in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The ITF Southern African Regional Tennis Championships served as a qualifier for the African Junior Championships, with the Under-14 continental championships taking place in South Africa while the Under-16 championships will be held in Tunisia.
ITF development officer Tapiwa Masunga said it was a very successful tournament.
“It’s the first time that we have had all 12 southern African countries participating so that was a big plus. It was a big task to host about 120 children and 22 coaches, but the organisation was good, the matches ran smoothly and the Namibia Tennis Association worked very hard to put on a good show,” she said.
A second tournament, the Southern Africa Team Championships, got underway on Friday and will continue through till this week.
A total of seven southern African countries are competing in the Under-16 boys’ and girls’ categories; nine in the Under-14 boys’ category and six in the Under-14 girls’ category.