Fresh from winning her maiden ITF Junior Circuit tennis title in the Under-18 category in Namibia last weekend, Valeria Bhunu has maintained her good form in the South-Central Junior Circuit currently underway at the Groenkloof Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.
The 16-year-old Bhunu, along with compatriot Pauline Chawafambira, who she beat in the final in Namibia, both stormed into the quarter-finals after making light work of their opponents.
Second seed Bhunu, who is based at the ITF Tennis Centre in Pretoria, and the Mutare-based Chawafambira are now showing some level of consistency in their game due to the exposure they have been getting in international tournaments.
Bhunu began her campaign with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over South African Melissa Laing before breezing past Tegan Louw of Great Britain 6-1, 6-1 in the second round to book a place with eighth seed Dane Joubert in the quarter-finals.
Chawafambira was in equally ruthless form as she also started with an easy 6-2, 6-2 win over South African Lindsay Truscott before defeating Liniques Theron of Namibia 6-3, 6-4 in the second round to book a place in the quarter-finals.
In the boys’ category, the country’s top junior player Benjamin Lock, who is the first seed, was yesterday set to meet South African Christian Van der Burgh in the third round for a place in the quarter-finals.
Lock, who represented Zimbabwe at the Euro-Africa Zone Group III last month, is one of the pre-tournament favourites to win this title after missing the Namibian leg last week.
He goes into this tournament on the back of some good results and after having a bye in the first round he showed his class in the second round where he easily dispatched South African Redge Rostrom 6-2, 6-2.
His younger brother Courtney, however, crashed out in the first round after losing 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4 to South African Gerhard Grudelingh.
Another promising young player, Ronzai Saurombe, managed to overcome the first hurdle, but was knocked out in the second round 6-0, 6-4 by third seed South African Mathew Rossouw.