THE gloss might be off at this year’s fourth edition of the NMB Manicaland Senior Open Tennis tournament which starts this Friday in Mutare as there will be no foreign players to spice up the tournament due to lack of sponsorship.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The tournament will run from May 22 to 25 at Hillside Sports Club. This year the tournament will be sponsored to the tune of $2 000 in a move that has seen foreign players staying away.
Last year’s defending champions both in the senior women’s and male categories United States based-promising female tennis star Pauline Chawafambira and Tendai Tapfuma will not compete at this year’s tournament.
Due to inadequate sponsorship and lack of entries, the female category has been scrapped off this term.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Manicaland Tennis Academy head coach Freeman Nyamunokora said prizes were too low to attract foreign players.
“This year we are not expecting foreign players at the tournament because the prizes are low. We used to attract foreign players from Botswana and Zambia, but this year it is a different story,” he said. “Defending champions Pauline Chawafambira and Tendai Tapfuma are not going to participate this year.
“The tournament is being sponsored to around the tune of $2 000 this year and we are expecting about 40 players who will fight for honours in singles and doubles categories.”
Players who are expected to take part in this edition are Zimbabwe Davis Cup non playing captain Martin Dzuwa, Liberty Nzula, Malcom Tungamirirai and Ngoni Makwambwa.