ITF J100 tourney underway

Sports Reporter

LOCAL players will be hoping for better fortunes when they take part in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) J100 tournament this week at Harare Sports Club.

It is the second of three tournaments being hosted by Tennis Zimbabwe. 

The main draw gets underway this morning and a number of Zimbabwean players are taking part in the event featuring players from different countries, including Australia, Canada, Madagascar, USA, South Africa, India, Algeria, Kenya, Hungary and Italy. 

In last week’s J60 tournament, Sasha Chimedza reached the girls’ final. 

She, however, lost to Andraina Mitia Voavy of Madagascar 6-4, 3-6, 5-7 in a closely contested match. 

The boys’ title went to Fumin Jiang of China, who beat Lev Seidman of the USA 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the final. 

In the doubles matches, Zimbabwe’s Thompson Thomu and his partner Liam Channon of Great Britain clinched the title following a 7-5, 7-5 victory over the pair of Allan Gatoto and Lev Seidman. 

Tadiwanashe Mauchi partnered Iriela Rajaobelina of France for the girls’ doubles and they lost 7-5, 2-6, 10-6 in the final. 

Chimedza and Mauchi are some of the leading local players in the girls’ section. 

They were both part of the team that competed at the Billie Jean King Cup in June. 

Mauchi, who is set to compete in all the three events, said playing in such a high-level competition has proved to be a confidence booster. 

“It definitely boosts your confidence. It’s always good to play with confidence on the court,” said Mauchi.

Apart from making the doubles final, she also reached the singles quarterfinals. 

As most of them return to the court for the week-long competition, they will be out to improve their performance from last week. 

Tournament director, Linsent Chitiyo, said they have more new entries for the tournament and are expecting stiffer competition this week. 

“The quality of tennis is definitely going to change; you can actually see even the competences. There has also been a huge increase in terms of the players travelling with their personal coaches. 

“You find that most of the players who are now participating in this event have personal coaches.

“The quality that we are anticipating this week is higher than the previous week. And I think even looking at the finals that we had yesterday (Saturday), roughly most of the matches took a minimum of 2 hours 30 minutes for them to finish.

“And we are likely to have a very a long week and long days of good quality matches,” said Chitiyo. 

The third tournament is scheduled for August 14-19. 

The events are part of the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors and cater for 18-and-Under players. 

It gives upcoming players the opportunity to travel the world and develop their talent.

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