Local junior tennis players found the going tough, with most crushing out of the tourney in the opening round while a few progressed to the next round during the second day of the ITF South-Central African Junior Circuit tournament at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
With most having fallen by the wayside during the qualifying round on Sunday, more failed to progress beyond yesterday’s opening round which was dominated by foreign players mostly from South Africa. In the boys’ draw, the only victories came from Johannes Artzinger, who beat Similo Sibanda from Botswana 6-2, 6-3 while Alwyn Mushonga accounted for his compatriot Mzingaye Sibanda 6-0, 6-1.
The other rare wins for the local players in the boys’ category came from Jotham Majaha, who stunned American Paarth Dodhiawala 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 while Luca Picci thumped Botswana’s Neo Cho 6-0, 6-0. Majaha together with Artzinger and Mushonga will join the trio of second seed Tendai Tapfuma, Courtney Lock and Ronzai Saurombe who had byes into the second round.
It was a case of so near yet so far for promising junior player Julius Mutetwa, who won the first set 7-5 against South African Thomas Greef before going down 6-2, 6-4 in the ensuing two sets to crush out in the opening round.
Another promising player Takudzwa Muswere lost 6-4, 7-5 to Gueninle Ouattara from Ivory Coast while Munashe Chingono lost 6-1, 7-5 to Innocent Tidimane from Botswana. The biggest casualties for Zimbabwe in the women’s draw was Nicole Dzenga, who lost to South African Janet Koch 6-1, 6-2 while Vimbayi Ugaro lost 6-2, 6-2 to Ratuja Bosale from India.
Local player Zahra Finnigan, who had progressed from the qualifying draw, was stopped 6-4, 6-3 while Nicole Dumbujena was outclassed 6-0, 6-0 Nicole Kapari from Ghana.
In the girls’ section only two players managed to win with Tanaka Chakanyuka beating Linique Theron from Namibia 6-0, 6-1 while Thabile Tshatedi beat Dominique Fredricks from Germany 7-6 (2), 6-3.