Zimbabwe’s tennis players were still in the hunt at the ongoing 34th African Junior Championships (AJC) in Botswana, on Tuesday with 10 players progressing to the second round after their first round matches on Monday.
South Africa-based young tennis ace Nicole Dzenga was in devastating form, cruising past Van Vuuren Chantel of Botswana 6-0, 6-0 to book a date with Rita Alik of Mauritius.
Dzenga who is representing the country in the girls Under-14 together with Karen Muswere, is currently ranked second on the continent in her age group.
Muswere also did well by knocking out Reitumetse Metso of Botswana 6-1, 6-0 and was set to meet Mauritian Zainab El Houri in the second round on Tuesday.
The boys Under-14 pair of Tadiwa Chinamo and Ngoni Chiwetete also posted crucial wins in the first round. Chinamo dismissed Joseph Imeh of Burundi
6-4, 6-2, while Chiwetete dismissed Kenyan Kotecha Sheil 6-2, 6-0 to set up a second round match with Mauritian Yassine Derbani.
Chinamo was also set to meet another player from Mauritius Hemuchu Rambojun.
In the girls Under-16, Valeria Bhunu had a bye to the second round as she is the second seed in her age group while Thabile Tshatedi comfortably beat Seynabou Diop of Senegal 6-2, 6-2.
In the boys’ Under-16 category Taremeredzwa Mariga lost his first round match to William Bushamuka of the DRC 6-2, 6-3, but Ronzai Saurombe remained in the hunt with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Mohamed Makhlouf of Madagascar.
The only other player to lose his first round match was South Africa-based Tendai Tapfuma who was knocked out by Ben Hassen of Tunisia 6-4, 6-4.
However, both Taremeredzwa and Tapfuma will have a chance to make amends in the doubles category, where Zimbabwe has always enjoyed a good record.
His compatriot Benjamin Lock, who won the warm-up tournament and had a bye in the first round was set to meet Jean-Jacques Rakotohasy of Madagascar, who won his first round match against Samuel Omoile of Nigeria 6-3, 7-5.
Zimbabwe were still unscathed in the girls’ Under-18 where Pauline Chawafambira and Vimbai Ugaro won their first round matches.
Ugaro who is based in the host country easily beat Madisa Utiseng of Botswana 6-2, 6-0 while Chawafambira accounted for Hariniony Andriamananarivo of Madagascar.
Chawafambira was set to meet Egyptian fifth seed Sherif Ahmed, while Ugaro had booked a date with first seed and pre-tournament favourite Razafumahatratra Zarah of Madagascar. The tournament runs up to Friday.