Promising Zimbabwean tennis player Tendai Tapfuma is in the United States for the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships starting on Monday at the Frank Veltri Tennis Centre in Florida.
The 17-year-old Tapfuma, who is based in South Africa at the ITF/South Africa Tennis Association training centre in Pretoria, is ranked fifth on the continent and 117th in the world.
Early this week he warmed up for the Orange Bowl tournament by taking part at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships in Bradenton, Florida.
Tapfuma did well to make the main draw before being knocked out in the first round by American Thai Kwiatkowski 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the IMG Academy.
The well travelled Kwiatkowski, who has played in tournaments in Mexico, Italy and Spain and plans to play in South America for a month next year — was the first seed and pre-tournament favourite.
“Had a good day today practicing on the Green Clay in Weston, Florida, and I feel I’m ready for the tournament (Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship) which starts on Monday,” posted Tapfuma on the social networking site Facebook soon after the warm-up tournament.
Tapfuma will be anticipating for a better performance during the Orange Bowl Tennis Championships where a good performance for him could see him improving his ranking at the which is classified Grade A by the ITF.
According to the ITF website Tapfuma, who is making his debut at the tournament, will go through the qualifying rounds to make the draw of 64 as he falls outside the top 100 on the ITF junior world rankings.