Kimberly following in Valeria's footsteps

HARARE - Kimberly Bhunu is slowly stepping out of the shadows of her big sister Valeria and is now making a name for herself in Zimbabwe junior tennis circles.
 
Valeria is the country’s top ranked female tennis player. The 17-year-old Valeria got a scholarship to study at the ITF Training Centre in Pretoria South Africa when she was 11, two years younger than the minimum entry age limit at the centre.
 
It seems the 12-year-old Kimberly, who is currently doing Form One at Dominican Convent, is also destined to walk a similar path.
 
She started playing tennis when she was only six at Alexandria Primary School and has never looked back.
 
To date, Kimberly has been a force to reckon with surprising many of her opponents with her powerful serve which has resulted in a number of medals on the local front.
 
Last year, Kimberly won the girls 12 & Under ITF/Cat Southern African Junior Championships in South Africa.
 
The young tennis star also participated in ITF junior tournament in Burundi and managed to reach the quarter finals in the same year.
 
Early this year, Kimberly qualified for Junior World Tennis Finals qualifying tournament after an impressive run at an international tournament in Kenya.
 
Kimberly together with Karen Machisa and Munashe Kaome failed to make an impact at the tournament in Tunisia after losing all their matches.
 
Locally, she defied all odds when she played against girls older than her age and won the Astra Paints Under-18 Girls’ tournament.
 
“Everybody expects me to be like Valeria, but I want to be better than her. It pushes me and motivates me to work even harder,” Bhunu told the Daily News on Sunday.
 
"If you work hard, anything can happen and sometimes good things happen when you least expect it. At the moment I just want to enjoy the sport.

“It is unfortunate that women’s tennis is not that competitive locally. Women in the country reach a certain age at which they will not take the sport seriously."

Her coach Linset Chitiyo said there is a lot of potential in the fledging Bhunu sister.
 
“She is still young so she has to work hard in order to achieve all her ambitions in her career but l believe she will make a big impact in the near future.”

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