Second-seeded Tendai Tapfuma crashed out in the third round of the ITF South/Central African Junior Circuit at Harare Sports Club yesterday to leave Ronzai Saurombe as the country’s only remaining prospect in the prestigious regional tourney.
Mutare-based Saurombe was the only local player to win a match in both the boys’ and girls’ singles category after beating South African Joshua Luck to progress to the quarter-finals.
Saurombe will meet fourth-seeded Tuki Jacobs for a place in the semi-finals after the Namibian beat Okkie Kellerman of South Africa 6-2 6-1.
Tapfuma, who was heavily tipped to capture the coveted boys’ singles title, was shocked 7-5 6-1 by 16th-seeded South African Phillip De Bruyn.
South Africa-based Courtney Lock, who was seeded seventh, also met the same fate after losing to Ismael Mzai from Kenya 6-1 2-6 6-1 while Johannes Artzinger was no match for top-seeded South African Matthew Rossouw, who beat him 6-1 6-0.
The Zimbabwean duo of Tapfuma and Lock, who are both based at the ITF Tennis Centre in Tshwane, said they were confident of mounting a stronger challenge in the doubles.
“We will be hoping to do well in the doubles with Tendai. We live at the same academy in Pretoria and we have been playing doubles together for some time. We feel we can do well and hopefully do better in the singles in the second tournament next week,” said Lock in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
In the girls’ category, the remaining local players Thabile Tshatedi and Latifah Yasini lost their quarter-final matches yesterday.
Tshatedi lost to fourth-seeded Janet Koch 6-4 7-6(3) while Yasini, who also had a tough draw, missed out on a semi-final place after going down 6-0 6-1 to top seed Ratuja Bhosale from India.