Zim ready to host ITF tournament

HARARE - Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) president Regis Bhunu says they are ready to host three ITF South/Central African Junior circuit tournaments set to start this weekend at Harare Sports Club.

The tournament starts on Saturday with the qualifiers set to run for two days while the main event takes off on July 28 and will end on August 15.

Junior tennis players from across the world are expected to take part as they seek to accumulate ITF ranking points.

Bhunu believes TZ has done everything to make the event a success.

“Most of the things are in place now. We have previously hosted this event and we know how to prepare,” Bhunu told the Daily News yesterday.

“Hosting the tournament is not only a great advantage to the players, but it will also boost the country’s image.

“It will prove that we have the ability to stage such tournaments and hopefully pave our way to hosting future events.”

The tournament is expected to attract players from countries such as Ivory Coast, India, Australia, Syria, Malawi Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

“This is an important event to our players; our players must be used to play in these tournaments, thus the only way we can improve as a country,” added Bhunu.

Some of the top players expected to participate in the boy’s category include Ivory Coast’s top player, Gueninle Abdoul Karim Ouatta and Malawian Lumeta Chisomo.

In the girls’ category, some of the top players expected grace the event includes Egypt’s Lasheen Habiba and Natsumi Okamoto.

Zimbabwe will pin their hopes on their number one-ranked Courtney Lock in the boys’ category while in the girls’ section Nicole Dzenga is expected to lead the country’s hope of success.

Other top local tennis players to look out for at the tournament include Alwyn Mushonga, Lucca Picci and Ngoni Makambwa in the boys’ section while in the girls’ category Finnigan Zahra, Latifah Yasini and Tariro Dembo are also expected to shine.

The ITF Junior circuit is a Grade Four ranking competition whereby players battle for points which will be used in their world rankings.

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