TZ cancels Zim Open

HARARE - Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) has cancelled this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Open after failing to secure sponsorship for the country’s premier tennis championship.

“Definitely the tournament will not take place, our sponsors came a little bit too late,” TZ vice-president Regis Bhunu told the Daily News yesterday.

 “The tournament is usually held between August and October and so far most of our players are in South Africa for various tournaments. However, we are happy that we managed to host a successful tournament recently.”

Last year, the country’s number one tennis player Takanyi Garanganga was crowned singles champion while Valerie Bhunu won the women’s event.

The Zimbabwe Open attracts tennis players from across the country and abroad.

Seen as the bridge to international stardom, previous winners include Byron Black, Genius Chidzikwe, Martin Dzuwa, Denise Artzinger, Benjamin Lock, among an array of red-hot Zimbabwean tennis talent.

 Bhunu added that the association will bid to host more ITF Futures tournament next year after the successful hosting of the Twenty Third Century International Futures tournament, won last week by Garanganga.

 “Hosting a Futures tournament has a number of advantages to our young players. If you play in Futures tournaments you earn points, meaning you do that a player will not have to take part in the qualifying rounds of a tournament.” - Blessings Mashaya

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