Hope for Young Tennis Players

As Tennis Zimbabwe expect to host three International Tennis Federation 18-and-Under tournaments this year, coaches have welcomed the development.

The confirmation of three events, one in Bulawayo and two in Harare between November and December, means the young players have something to look forward to.

The national association have indicated they are still working on ensuring the events take place and, following the confirmation by ITF, they are now set to engage the Government, through the Sports Commission, to get the greenlight.

They have indicated they will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and developments that may arise along the way.

According to the dates released by the ITF, the tournament in Bulawayo is expected to take place from November 30 to December 5.

The first one in Harare is expected to run from December 7 to 12 and the second is scheduled for December 14 to 19.

Coach Linsent Chitiyo said the development was a relief for the players, after a long period of inactivity, and they were hopeful the three events will materialise.

“We are looking at this with a lot of positivity because the culture of playing tennis has been an element that has actually been on an upward trajectory just before the Covid-19 outbreak.

“This brings a lot of relief to all the players who have been committing themselves to improving their ranking, and also looking at the competition exposure, with the global market,” said Chitiyo.

However, with travel restrictions for some countries still in place, this means players from some countries may not enter for the events.

But, Chitiyo said it’s an opportunity for local players to make the main draw, increasing their chances of earning points.

Another coach, Lazarus Manjoro, believes this will motivate the players.

“I think it will help because our players were just playing on their own, so this ITF tournament will motivate them because, here in Zimbabwe, we are running short of these big tournaments.

“So, if we have more of these it will motivate the young players,” said Manjoro.

The events are usually held in August but had to be moved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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