Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE Select Healthcare Tennis Masters got underway yesterday, with top seed Mehluli Sibanda sailing through to the quarter-finals when he dismissed Benedict Badza 6-0, 6-1 in the second round at Harare Sports Club.
The top seed got a bye in the first round while Badza beat Providence Nyoni 6-2, 6-4 in his opening match to set up a date with Sibanda.
Sibanda is just coming from the African Union Sports Council Region Five Under-20 Youth Games where he picked up a gold medal in the singles and he came in as one of the favourites for this tournament.
Sibanda will today face Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup team non-playing captain Gwinyai Tongoona in the quarter-finals.
Tongoona, seeded fifth, dismissed Hasley Masara in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Masara had earlier on overpowered Stephen Chiwanza 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-4 in the first round but found the going tough against Tongoona.
In the other first round matches, Ray Jasi defeated Heyley Masara 6-4, 6-1 and was set to take on Martin Dzuwa in the second round late yesterday.
Mikhil Raja prevailed over Sijabuliso Jubane 6-4, 7-6(6).
Ndumiso Ndube beat Emmanuel Mutari 6-2, 6-1 while Tapiwa Zibowa beat Crispen Chitambara 6-4, 6-3.
Defending champion Michael Gutu, who has won the past two editions of this competition, said this year it’s promising to be a tough event with the likes of Sibanda in good form.
“So this year it looks more tough, looking at the draw there are new players who came, so it’s going to be tough. Mehluli Sibanda he has been playing in the Davis Cup team, so it’s going to be tough. “Then playing at home it’s always good playing here and I would say it’s always good to come back home and see where you started, just reflecting where you came from.
Source: The Herald