TZ lauds prodigy Garanganga

HARARE - Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) vice-president Regis Bhunu believes Takanyi Garanganga’s recent victory at the Twenty Third Centuries International Futures Tennis tournament is a huge leap in the right direction for local tennis.

 The country’s number tennis player clinched the championship with a clinical 6-3, 7-6 (8) win over Keith Crowley of South Africa in Saturday’s final at Harare Sports Club.

The US-based sensation walked away with $1 300 for winning the tournament.

 “We are an association so eager to return to the good old days when tennis in Zimbabwe used to be a dominant force,” Bhunu told the Daily News yesterday.

 “What a way to move towards, having our very own genius leading the campaign, we feel greatly honoured and happy about Takanyi’s victory, hopefully other players will be inspired to up their game too.”

 Going into the tournament, the 22-year-old Garanganga carried the hopes of a nation desperate to return to the world football map, and did not disappoint.

 During the course of the week-long tournament, Garanganga fought a lone battle after his fellow countrymen Mark Fynn, Ronzai Saurombe, Martin Dzuwa and Tino Chanakira crashed out in the early stages of the tournament.

 Former Davis Cup player Dzuwa was ironically knocked out in the first round by the eventual winner Garanganga while Saurombe and Chanakira fell to South African opponents with Fynn bowing out in the quarterfinals to Crowley 7-6 (5), 6-2.

 Garanganga won his toughest assignment by beating Lukas Marsouno of Czech Republic 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (5) to book his semifinal berth.

 In the semifinal, the All-Africa Games gold medallist fought bravely to beat Ruan Roelofse 7-6(5), 6-4.

 “I believe the whole of Zimbabwe should rally behind the efforts to ensure Takanyi continues to scale the dizzy heights that his enormous talent is worth. The benefits to the country are immense,” Bhunu added. - Blessings Mashaya

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