Defending champion in the Under-18 boys’ category Innocent Mhere reached the final of the 2011 New Winners tournament for the second year in a row at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The Mutare-based 17-year -old set up a date with Takudzwa Muswere after surviving a scare in the second set to beat Kuzivakwashe Zvamaida 6-3, 7-6. His opponent in today’s final, Muswere, accounted for the other Zvamaida sibling Tirivashe, 6-2, 6-0 to set up an intriguing contest in the final this morning.
Mhere, who beat Gideon Mlambo in straight sets in last year’s final, said: “There is a lot of pressure for me to win this match because everyone wants me to win.
“My opponent is really playing well at the moment and I know I have to work really hard to come out on top.”
South African-based Valeria Bhunu, who won the NetOne Zimbabwe Open title last year, was on the verge of a second consecutive New Winners final.
Bhunu was set to meet Nicole Dzenga in the semi-finals while Mutare-based Pauline Chawafambira was set to meet Lorraine Mandingwa for a place in the final.
At Prince Edward, it was upsets galore in the Under-16 boys’ category as the top seeds failed to make into the final.
Top seed Jotham Majaya looked set to book a place in the final when he dismissed Robert Sachikonye 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets to set up a date with Tanaka Mufandauya.
Majaya came unstuck in a tightly contested encounter in which the two sets 7-5, 7-6 (5) went all the way to the wire.
In the other semi-final Edward Sengai made light work of second seed Munashe Chingowo with an easy 6-3, 6-3 win after breezing past Justine Simbaneuta 6-0, 6-0 in the quarter-finals.
At Alexander Park, where the Under-10 matches were played over one set Tatenda Mtetwa won the boys’ Under-10 final after thrashing Michael Frost 6-0.
Tanyaradzwa Kaome was equally ruthless in the girls’ final where she dismissed Tatenda Gudo 6-0.
The curtain will come down today at the three day tournament which is being used as preparations by the Zimbabwe team for the zonal qualifiers for the African Junior Championships to start next week at Harare Sports Club.