Garanganga in winning start

HARARE - Zimbabwe's top male tennis player Takanyi Garanganga got his year off to a scintillating start with a resilient performance to win the USTA Pro Circuit Long Beach Futures Pro Tournament over the weekend.

Garanganga defeated Number six seed Frederik Nielson in the finals of the $15 000 tournament at the El Dorado Park Tennis Centre in the US.

The All African Games gold medalist rallied from behind to defeat the 2012 Wimbledon doubles champion, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, in the final to capture the $2 160 first-place cheque and 27 valuable ATP ranking points.

Reports from the United States indicate that the No. 382 in the world ranked Garanganga did it the hard way all week, having travelled from Amsterdam where he was training and missed the entry deadline, only showing up last week before qualifying as a wild card.

“I missed the deadline but I had to come here anyway on my way to Maui (for next week’s USTA Pro Circuit Challenger),” Garanganga was quoted as saying by procircuit.usta.com.

“It was actually good for me to get the matches at the start of the year. I wasn’t playing very good at the beginning, so it was good for me.”

Garanganga said he did not think back to the quarterfinals and semis where he also dropped the first set before coming back. “I just keep playing,” he said. “I just kept waiting for my chances. I was simply playing in the moment and wasn’t thinking about the past.

He added: “I’m tired. I’m tired and my body is feeling it. But I will take a day off and then fly to Maui probably on Wednesday.”

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