TZ Cleared to Host Junior Events

There is a ray of hope for junior tennis players after Tennis Zimbabwe’s application to host some events, before end of year, was approved by the International Tennis Federation.

TZ are looking at hosting three international 18-and-Under tournaments between November and December.

Usually, they host three 18-and-Under events in Harare in August. But, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournaments have been shelved.

And now they are planning to have two in Harare, instead of three, and Bulawayo will host one as usual.

TZ manager, Cliff Nhokwara, confirmed they got approval from the international federation.

“We have ITF Under-18 tournaments. One is already on calendar, the one in Bulawayo,” he said.

“We are also working with them to have two more in Harare.

“But that’s all subject to us meeting the requirements for Covid-19.

“If we meet those requirements, we should hold two to three events, between November and December, one in Bulawayo and two in Harare.

“We applied and they were all approved. Two of them, the ones in Harare we applied last week and the one in Bulawayo it was early August.

“Maybe, we can instill a little bit of hope, among our young players, who were looking at accumulating points for 18-and-Under to get scholarships to American colleges. It will give them a chance to earn points.”

The tournament in Bulawayo is scheduled to run from December 7 to 12 while dates for the other two events, in Harare, are still to be confirmed.

Nhokwara noted that they still need to officially request for approval from the local authorities for the events to go ahead.

“Our plan was to launch the tournaments as soon as schools open… So, once, schools we are allowed to open, then we will be able to resume tournaments. As soon as schools open, then we can officially request (for approval),” said Nhokwara.

At senior level, the national association are considering to have Club Championships that will be held for each province.

On the international front, they have decided to defer all events they were looking forward to host, to next year.

“The plan is to also have Senior Club Championships, Harare Sports Club, Highlands if possible, and Old Hararians for Harare, and then have the same happening for other provinces.

“On the international, the futures, we no longer have chances. The calendar is full and we have to apply four months upfront . . . so it’s better to defer to next year,” said Nhokwara.

Already, the Davis Cup World Group II tie between Zimbabwe and China was moved to 2021.

The country was supposed to host China this September but the ties were pushed back to next year.

They will be played either in March or September.

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