BY FORTUNE MBELE
TWO Zimbabwe junior girls tennis players will leave the country tomorrow for Lithuania to represent the country in the Billie Jean King Cup which starts on Monday.
Tadiwanashe Mauchi and Tanyaradzwa Midzi, both aged 15, will be joined by South Africa-based Valeria Bhunu, the current top Zimbabwean female player.
They travel with coach Tafadzwa Mawisire.
Mauchi and Midzi are currently making waves in the Cranrid Petroleum-sponsored 18 and under J5 International Tennis Federation (ITF) South Central Tournament being held at the Bulawayo Country Club.
Tennis Zimbabwe administrator Cliff Nhokwara yesterday confirmed the girls’ trip to Europe, a first for Mauchi and Midzi.
The tournament is the females version of the Davies Cup.
“You will be pleased to know that of the seven players that are participating here, two of the girls are going to be representing Zimbabwe in the Billie Jean tournament in Lithuania which is starting on Monday June 14. So that is big plus for our developmental programme,” Nhokwara said.
The ITF Bulawayo competition is in the second leg and Mauchi and Midzi yesterday pulled through to the semi-finals.
Mauchi got the better of Egyptian Joody Elkady 6-1, 7-6 in the quarter-finals to cruise through to the semi-finals while Midzi was on a rampage crashing Botswana’s Oriane Origwane 6-0, 6-2.
The two girls lost in the semi-finals in the first leg, with Mauchi falling to eventual winner Suzanie Pretorius of South Africa 6-2, 6-1, while Midzi lost to Jo-Leen Saw of Malaysia 6-1, 6-2.
All the boys, Ethan Sibanda, Benedict Badza and Lyle Zaloumis crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals with Sibanda retiring in the second set when he was losing 4-2 to South African Yarona Morule, complaining of a backache.
Sibanda had lost the first set 6-2.
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