The country’s number one wheelchair tennis player Nyasha Mharakurwa lost in the finals of the prestigious Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) Free State Open played in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Wednesday.
Mharakurwa claimed the silver medal after he fell to his doubles counterpart Evans Maripa 6–4, 5–7, 6–1 in a tightly contested final.
The current Harare Open champion said he tried his best but could not prevail.
“I had my chances especially in the second set and did take them but unfortunately I lost in the final set,” said the Johannesburg-based star.
“It was not a bad match, I just didn’t do well when it mattered most,” added Mharakurwa.
Reports from Bloemfontein say the tightly- contested match started with Maripa dropping his serve and losing the first set with an audible gasp from the dominantly South African audience.
Maripa however quickly regrouped and managed a nail-biting win in the second set.
In the third set, Mharakurwa was delivering a promising performance and was up by 4–2 when Maripa suddenly found his zone and dug deep putting pressure on Mharakurwa who finally crumbled.
The current Annual National Sports Awards Best Sportsman with a Disability, Mharakurwa said his doubles semi-finals match, where he was expected to partner Maripa against Marshall Marsh and Godfrey Letswalo, was rained out.