United States-based Zimbabwean up-and-coming tennis players Mbonisi Ndimande and Admire Mushonga have been named in the prestigious 2011 International Tennis Association’s All-American Team.
Ndimande and Mushonga are based at Seminole State University, but according to reports from the US the latter has been awarded a more lucrative full tennis scholarship at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
The 20-year-old Ndimande was listed on the singles and doubles roster, while the Mutare-born Seminole freshman, Mushonga, joined his teammate for the doubles honour.
Ndimande is one of the eight local elite athletes awarded an Olympic Solidarity scholarship to assist him in qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Mushonga and Ndimande have played tennis together for much of their lives, having played together in the local junior ranks before moving to the US on tennis scholarships.
According to reports Ndimande, who was last month named in Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup team excelled on and off the court as he earned the title of Fall Singles National Champion while maintaining a two-year grade point average of 3,74.
Commenting on Ndimande and Mushonga’s success the Seminole State University’s head coach Brian Nelson said: “I’m so happy these two men were named All-Americans.
They definitely deserve it, and are two of the best players I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. I am very sad to see Mbonisi leave here, but he has to move on and finish his career.
“His hard work landed him a full scholarship to the University of California-Santa Barbara, so I know he’s in good hands and a good location. I’m glad we have Admire back for one more year. I expect him to be the team leader and to hopefully have a break-out year where everyone in the country will notice him and want him.”
Meanwhile any hopes of yet another all-Zimbabwean-girls’ final at the South and Central Junior Circuit currently underway in Pretoria, South Africa, were dashed after second seed Valeria Bhunu and fourth seed Pauline Chawafambira were knocked out in the quarter-finals yesterday.
Bhunu won the ITF South and Central Junior Circuit Championships in Windhoek, Namibia last weekend after beating compatriot Chawafambira 6-0, 6-4 in the final.
Going into this week’s tournament the duo were again placed on opposite sides of the draw, which left the possibility of a repeat of last week’s final a huge possibility.
However, the pair came unstuck against the South Africans with Bhunu being stunned 6-0, 6-2 by the eighth-seeded Dane Joubert in the quarter-finals, while Chawafambira was also knocked out at the same stage after an identical 6-0, 6-2 defeat to the fifth-seeded South African Ilze Hattingh.
Chawafambira however still had a chance to make amends as she was still in the running in the girls’ doubles competition where she was partnering Mauritian Emmanuelle De Beer.
The duo was set to meet Dane Joubert of South Africa and Carita Moolman of Namibia in the semi-finals.