By Freeman Makopa
ZIMBABWE junior tennis ace Tinaye Badza’s star continues to rise, with the 13-year-old coming out tops at Under-14 invitational tournaments held in the Reunion last week.
Badza, who has been enjoying a phenomenal season as a junior, was in top form during the recently concluded Le Ti’ Docks and Le Ti’ Bourbon tournaments staged at Lambrakis Stadium.
The youngster told NewsDay Weekender that the tournament was an eye-opener.
“I was excited for having been nominated to participate at these two tournaments because they were an eye-opener as I gained exposure. I came fifth out of 32 players in singles. I teamed up with Denzel Seetso from Botswana and came first in doubles,” he said.
“For me, it’s a great achievement given the quality of players that I faced. I can see myself becoming a pro in the next five years, and it’s a pleasure to having represented my country at such level,” he said.
The two tournaments, which took place from March 11 to 24, attracted players from around the world, including China, France, Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and the hosts, Reunion.
The St Georges student has enjoyed some success recently, including coming third in singles in November last year at Mauritius ITF/CAT Under-14 and at the Namibia Zonals where he also won the doubles final.
Badza also came second at this year’s ITF/CAT Southern Africa Junior Championships.
Developmental initiatives by Tennis Zimbabwe have seen the sport continue to produce players who can hold their own on international platforms.