Strong tennis team for ITF/CAT event


Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) yesterday named a strong nine-member Under -18 team for next months International Tennis Federation (ITF)/Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) African Junior Closed Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The ITF Grade B2 tournament slated for Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds from March 19-24 will attract all the top junior players on the continent in search of ranking points.

The Zimbabwean team comprises four ladies, namely two-time Zimbabwe Open ladies champions Valeria Bhunu, Vimbayi Ugaro, Pauline Chawafambira and Thabile Tshatedi.

In the boys section, Tendai Tapfuma, Ronzai Saurombe, Courtney Lock, Takudzwa Muswere and Taremeredzwa Mariga are expected to lift the countrys flag high. Meanwhile, Mbonisi Ndimande has bounced back for the Davis Cup team for the 2012 Euro-Africa Zone Group Three qualifiers in Tunisia starting on July 2. Ndimande has been in top form for the University of Santa Barbara and will team up with United States-based tennis ace Takanyi Garanganga and Mark Fynn who is based in South Africa and Florida State Universitys Benjamin Lock.
TZ chairman of selectors Tanya Chinamo said they were yet to appoint a none-playing captain as they were still in the process of negotiating with potential candidates.

The former TZ vice-president said he was confident both teams would do well in both competitions. They are both very strong teams. Our junior players have been doing well on the ITF Junior Circuit while our Davis Cup team finished third last year.

Takanyi will is obviously our top player at the moment and has been part of the Davis Cup team for the last three years together with Mark Fynn.

Benjamin Lock has also done very well in the last two campaigns in the Davis Cup while Mbonisi Ndimande has been doing well for his university in the States and should also add value to the team, said Chinamo.

Zimbabwe came one position short of the promotion spot after they finished third in last years Africa Group Three round robin held in Cairo, Egypt.
The team fell on the final hurdle, losing 2-0 to the hosts in a play-off match they needed to win to secure promotion.

In the end, Egypt secured promotion to the Euro-Africa Zone Group Two while Madagascar secured the second place after beating Algeria 2-1.