Zimbabwe’s junior tennis players are bracing for the junior Davis Cup, Fed Cup and World Junior Finals qualifiers set for Cairo, Egypt from Monday next week.
A team of 12 players led by veteran coach Richmore Murape and Mutare-based Freeman Nyamunokora will leave the country on Saturday for the seven-day tournament.
The team is made up of the bulk of the players who helped Zimbabwe to finish a credible fifth out of 28 African countries at the African Junior Championships in Botswana recently.
The boys and girls Under-16 players will take part in the junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup BNP Paribas qualifiers respectively while the Under-14s will take part in the World Junior Tennis Finals qualifiers.
The World Junior Tennis Finals will be held from August 1-6 in Prostejov, Czech Republic, with the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup World Finals taking place from September 27 to October 2 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
In the junior Davis Cup qualifiers Zimbabwe will be represented by the trio of Ronzai Saurombe, Taremeredzwa Mariga and South Africa-based Courtney Lock. The trio faces a tough battle for a place in Mexico with players from host Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and DRC.
In the junior Fed Cup qualifiers Zimbabwe will be represented by Valeria Bhunu, Thabile Tshatedi and Lorraine Mandingwa.
The local girls will battle it out for a place in the junior Fed Cup tournament with Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritius.
Zimbabwe competed in their first Fed Cup at senior level in 1996 but the country’s history in the competition dates back to 1966 in then Rhodesia.
In the World Junior Tennis Finals qualifiers Zimbabwe will be represented by six players, three in each gender category.
In the boys’ section, Tadiwa Chinamo, Alywn Mushonga and Ngoni Chiwetete will battle it out with players from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana and Egypt.
In the girls’ category rising tennis sensation Nicole Dzenga, Karen Machisa and Karen Muswere will battle for honours for Zimbabwe against players from Namibia, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and hosts Egypt.