Bad start for Zim junior tennis team

HARARE - Zimbabwe's junior tennis team kicked off their campaign to qualify for the Junior World Tennis Finals on a wrong footing following a 3-0 defeat to Madagascar in Tunisia on Tuesday.

Madagascar’s Sariaka Radilofe outclassed Karen Machisa of Zimbabwe in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 while Kimberly Bhunu went down in equally humiliating fashion to Randy Randrianasoloson 6-2, 6-0.

With the tie safely in the bag, the Malagasy pair of Radilofe and Randrianasoloson went on to complete the white wash when they beat Bhunu and Munashe Kaome 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles match.

Tennis Zimbabwe administrator Cliff Nhokwara admitted that the team was found wanting against the Indian Ocean islanders.

“We were simply outclassed by a more experienced side,” Nhokwara told the Daily News yesterday.

“We want to focus more on the positives; it’s good for our young side to play good teams such as Madagascar because that is the only way we can improve. We would never have wished for any other opponent.

“I believe the girls gained a lot and we should put up a much better show in our next game.”

Zimbabwe is now scheduled to South Africa in their next encounter in the round robin tournament that also includes Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

Egypt had a very successful day on Tuesda,y defeating hosts Tunisia 3-0 while South Africa also started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Morocco.

Up for grabs to all teams competing this week is a place at either the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov Czech Republic in August or the Junior Davis/Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in September.

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