PAN-African business solutions provider Twenty Third Century Systems and mobile network provider NetOne yesterday unveiled a joint $30 000 sponsorship package for the two back-to-back ITF Futures tennis tournaments which get underway next week at Harare Sports Club.
The two ITF Futures tournaments, which are sponsored to the tune of $15 000 each, will run from Monday to October 25, with the first tournament sponsored by Twenty Third Century Systems, while the second will be sponsored by NetOne.
Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, Twenty Third Century Systems chief sales officer Eugene Muzvidziwa they were proud to be associated with local tennis.
“We are very proud to be associated with Tennis Zimbabwe through this sponsorship for the ITF Futures tournament. We believe that as we continue investing in these future players, we will be able to tap into the ATP Tour as the Futures is a starting point for most professional players,” Muzvidziwa said.
NetOne marketing and sales director Memory Ndoro-Mandiya said: “NetOne has always aimed at proving an enabling environment for the development of tennis in the country.
“As a corporate organisation, we are actually about Tennis Zimbabwe and we are happy that some of our players are doing very well within and outside the country’s borders.”
She added: “We have the likes of Benjamin Lock, Mark Fynn, Tinotenda Chanakira, Takanyi Garanganga and their captain (Martin Dzuwa) who are representing the country in the Davis Cup. As NetOne, we would like to congratulate the team for gaining promotion.”
Tennis Zimbabwe president Regis Bhunu, who was accompanied by the association’s life vice-president Albert Nhamoyebonde, thanked NetOne and Twenty Third Century Systems for their support, saying it would go a long way in complementing their junior policy.
Europe-based Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis player Chanakira said he was delighted to be playing at home, adding that the two tournaments would be an opportunity to prepare for next’s year’s Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group II campaign.
“I’m really excited to be back home for these two $15 000 tournaments. It’s a great opportunity to pick up points and do well. It will also be a good platform to prepare for next year’s Davis Cup. Takanyi [Garanganga] and Benjamin Lock are actually playing in Europe right now and me and Mark Fynn are here, so everyone is active,” Chanakira said.
Zimbabwe last hosted ITF Futures in 2012 with the country’s top-ranked player Garanganga beating South Africa’s Keith Crowley 6-3, 7-6 (8) in the final to walk away with $1 300.
The ITF Futures circuit is the lowest rung of professional tennis below the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challengers Tour, the ATP Tour and the pinnacle of professional tennis, the Grand Slams.
The draw for the main field of 32 singles players will be conducted tomorrow evening, while the qualifying draw was slated for last night.