Tennis Zim Eyeing Return to Courts With Three Events

TENNIS Zimbabwe manager, Cliff Nhokwara, says they are looking at resuming competitions like the Club Championships to help locally-based players get ready for international tournaments.

The national association want to host three 18-and-Under international tournaments between November and December.

But, their emphasis, at the moment, is to have some form of local competitions in preparation of the upcoming events they want to host.

The three international junior events are expected to run from November 30 to December 19.

“We have some events we are pushing, maybe not necessarily tournaments but small events, as our platform to returning to competition.

“It’s part of our efforts to return to competition, which include the international events like the 18-and-Under, in December, two pencilled for Harare and one in Bulawayo.

“For now, we still have verbal arrangements with the ITF for the two in Harare. The plan is that the Bulawayo event moves back by a week.

“Instead of starting on the 7th of December, we start on November 30, so that on the 7th of December we start in Harare, until the 19th.

“That’s the plan on the ground,” said Nhokwara.

They are also preparing for the postponed Davis Cup World Group II tie against China expected in March next year.

They have been given the permission by the International Tennis Federation for the junior events.

They now have to seek authority from the Sports and Recreation Commission and Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

“We have a Davis Cup match in March, so, we have to be performing on the ground.

“We have to be doing something, we can’t just wait to start by hosting international events.

“We have to be ready, one way of getting ready is running local events.

“Initially, we are starting with club events, that’s the Club Championships and then, beyond that, we have festivals, club versus club.

“These involve Under-10s to Under-18s and then senior players, including veterans.

“We are just watching developments happening in sport, including opening of schools, so these are the plans we have but they (events) are all subject to the Sports Commission and Ministry of Sport approval,” Nhokwara said.

However, the junior events might not feature some of the players who could be sitting for their examinations during that period.

“Tennis issues, especially international events, they are also for kids to get scholarships,” he said.

“So, those you cannot cancel completely, you have to create the platform for the young players to get scholarships for universities.”

Some low-risk sport codes such as golf, swimming and triathlon are back in competition, under strict guidelines.

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