ZIMBABWE’S top female tennis player Valeria Bhunu impressed on her return from a long-term injury by reaching the semi-finals of the SAS Junior ITF 1 which ended yesterday at the Maties Tennis Club, in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO SPORTS REPORTER
Bhunu, who is well-known in South African junior tennis circles as she attended the ITF Academy in Pretoria for five years, caught the eye with some impressive performances in her first tournament since April. In the first round, Bhunu comfortably beat South African Dominique West 6-2, 6-0 before beating another South African opponent Amy Olivier 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
Bhunu won her third match in a roll after beating Rouxanne Van Rensburg 6-2, 6-0 in the quarter-finals before she was knocked out in the semis in which she lost a three set thriller to South African Janet Koch 5-7, 7-5, 4-6.
Bhunu had to endure a frustrating six months out of action after she suffered a hand injury which needed an operation.
Prior to that setback, the 17-year-old Bhunu had played in events in Spain and Potchefstroom, managing to reach the quarter-finals of the Campeonato Junior International in Spain.
Bhunu’s compatriot, Nicole Dzenga also did well in the same tournament, reaching the quarter-finals in the singles division and the final of the doubles competition which was expected to be played later yesterday.