Zimbabwe’s number one wheelchair tennis player, Nyasha Mharakurwa crashed out of the SA Open on the round of 16 stage at Sun City, South Africa on Wednesday.
The country’s three-time disabled sportsperson of the year fell to the tournament’s top seed Austrian Martin Lerner 6–2, 6-1 in the singles on Tuesday afternoon before going down 4–6, 6–4,
10–8 in the doubles match that was played late on the same day.
Mharakurwa, who partnered South African Marshal Marsh lost to the Australian duo of Henry Le-Cure and Oh Chee Keegan.
Mharakurwa who is based in Johannesburg beat Daniel Caversachi of Spain 6–1, 4–6, 6-1 on Monday to qualify for the round of 16, but came stuck against the world’s number nine ranked player.
Despite failing to make the expected impact in the singles again this year, Mharakurwa said he is happy with his performance. “I played well but the guy (Lerner) is experienced after having played tennis for more than 20 years now,” Mharakurwa told NewsDay Sport on Wednesday
“I was also kind of rusty because I have not played a competitive game in a while now. I still have a lot of areas to work on, I am still to find my rhythm yet. I made some few mistakes, which cost me the game. But I am happy with my overall performance, I gave the guy a big fight,” added the 27-year-old.
Mharakurwa has yet to win any honours in the singles in the SA Open since he became a professional tennis player some four years ago.