Junior tennis stars off to France


By Freeman Makopa

Zimbabwe’s top junior tennis players Benedict Badza and Nicole Matukutire left the country yesterday for France where they will participate at the ITF/CAT 14 and under tournament starting today until August 10.

The duo is expected to join other participants taking part in a series of five European 14 and under tournaments.

This project is being financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

Badza is excited to have been granted the opportunity to participate at the high-profile event, which he says will help him mould his skills.

“I am really excited to have been granted the opportunity to be part of the team to represent my nation at this big tournament. This means a lot to me and it’s an opportunity I grabbed
with both hands and I will fully manipulate it to achieve my dream to turn to a pro,” he said.

Bulawayo Girls College student Matukutire expressed satisfaction at being selected and added that she was inspired by multiple grand slam winner Serena Williams.

“It feels good. It’s a great achievement. It shows how much I have achieved throughout my tennis career and I think it’s a good experience and we can learn a lot from this trip. We are confident that we will perform at our best. I hope that in the next five years, I will be at the big stage and most likely in the top 100 of ITF rankings,” she said.

“Serena Williams is my role model. She inspires me a lot. I want play well in France, to learn from others that side and I hope to play my best tennis.”