HomeSportRising Tapfuma confident of Davis Cup success

Rising Tapfuma confident of Davis Cup success


South Africa-based young tennis star Tendai Tapfuma believes the exposure he gained from playing in North and South America recently has made him a better player and hopes to play an integral part in Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup campaign this year.

Tapfuma was part of the International Tennis Federation (ITF)/Grand Slam International 18 & Under Team that recently concluded a 54-day tour of North, Central and South America from November 24 last year to January 15.

During the tour young Tapfuma was accompanied by five other players, Ganna Poznikhirenko from Ukraine, Mexico’s Albierto Juvenil, Russian Elizaveta Kulichova, Burundi’s Hassan Ndayishimeyi and Jennifer Brady from the US.

The players competed in ITF Grade A tournaments in the US, Mexico, Costa Rica and Venezuela. Grade A events offer the most ranking points and also include the Junior Grand Slam tournaments.

The tour was financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund and provided the players not only with the opportunity to take part in top-level international competition, but also the invaluable experience of travelling abroad as part of a team under the guidance of an ITF coach.

“The experience was great and you get a feeling of how competitive tennis is all about. It was obviously hard at first because you will be playing against some very good players, but it also pushed me to work harder on my game,” said Tapfuma in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.

The tour began in Miami where Tapfuma and the other players attended a three-day training camp before taking part in the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships and the prestigious Dunlop Orange Bowl International Championship.

“I didn’t do as well as I would have wanted in the singles competition as I could not manage to get beyond the first round in both tournaments. I had my chances in some of the matches, but unfortunately I didn’t take them. However, I managed to do well in the doubles events where I had an understanding with Ndayishimeyi,” said Tapfuma.

“Playing in the Davis Cup is the ultimate goal for me, but the decision as to who makes the team is up to the national selectors. But for me it’s something that I will continue working hard to achieve and hopefully I will be able to use what I learned during the tour in representing my country well,” he said.

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