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Garanganga rules the roost


Takanyi Garanganga was yesterday crowned the Zimbabwe Tennis Open champion after finishing off Genius Chidzikwe in the men’s singles final at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

The final, interrupted on Saturday due to incessant rains, commenced with Garanganga leading 2-1 in the second set having sealed the first set 6-2.

The United States-based tennis ace wrapped up the match with another 6-2 win in the second set to complete a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets win, his maiden Zimbabwe Tennis Open title.

For winning the men’s singles title Garanganga walked away with a floating trophy and $1 200 prize money while Chidzikwe walked away $1 000 richer.

The two-time African junior champion continued his rich vein of form after combining with Mlandeli Ndlela to beat brothers Benjamin and Courtney Lock 4-6, 6-3 (10-6) and win the men’s doubles title.

An elated Garanganga, cheered on by his family throughout the tournament, told NewsDay Sport he was delighted to have captured his first major title on home soil since turning professional.

“Obviously, I would have loved to finish off the match on Saturday, but I couldn’t do so because of the rains. I am glad I managed to wrap the match up today. I will cherish this title for a long time to come as this is my first major title in Zimbabwe since I turned professional.

“I want to thank my family for the support throughout the tournament, the organisers, the sponsors and other players for making this an exciting tournament,” Garanganga said.

The All-Africa Games gold medalist — who recently graduated from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures circuit to the more competitive Challengers Tour on the ITF Men’s Circuit — said he hoped to continue playing well as he has been doing throughout the season.

“The objective at the moment is to just continue working on my game. The focus of a lot of people at the moment is just on the London Olympic Games, which is great, but I feel there are also other things I’m aspiring o achieve. I also hope to continue doing well on the ITF circuit after recently moving from the Futures to the Challengers Tour,” said Garanganga.

The men’s doubles champions walked away with $400 each while the runners-up did not receive any prize money because of ITF regulations with regards to amateur players.

United States-based female player Fadzai Mawisire — who on Saturday lost to Valeria Bhunu in the ladies singles final — yesterday bounced back with a victory in the women’s doubles final.

Mawisire combined with Cynthia Sibanda to beat Pauline Chawafambira and Latifah Yasini 6-3, 2-6, (10-3) to walk away with $400 prize money.

Tennis Zimbabwe vice-president Regis Bhunu said: “We want to thank the sponsors for the support and we hope they will continue with their support. We witnessed one of the most competitive Zimbabwe Open Championships ever because we had most of our top players available.

We also want to extend our gratitude to the Sports and Recreation Commission for providing Takanyi’s airfares while the veteran players also provided the much-needed competition for our younger players,” said Bhunu.

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