Zim hopeful of team event at Champs

The Herald

Ellinah Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE will be hoping to build on the individual performances when the team competition of the ITF/CAT Southern African Regional Championships gets underway today at Harare Sports Club.

The championships took off with the individual event last Saturday and Zimbabwe’s best performance was from Tendekai Musabaeka who reached the singles final in the 14-and-Under Boys. 

Musabaeka put up a good fight to sail through to the final where he lost to Mirija Andriantefihasina of Madagascar 6-4, 6-0 yesterday. 

He had earlier on in the morning overpowered JP Snyma from South Africa 7-5, 6-4 in the semi-finals while Andriantefihasina defeated Hlumani Kekana from South Africa 7-6(4), 6-4 in the other semi-final. 

In the 14-and-Under Girls singles, Chanelle Zhuwakini bowed out in the semi-finals when she lost to Roxy Bredenkamp 6-1, 6-0. 

South Africa’s Jahnie Van Zyl was the eventual winner as she beat Bredenkamp 6-2, 6-3 in the final. 

In the 16-and-Under, Zimbabwe’s Ronan Mtisi and Tinotenda Chipfakacha also lost their semi-final matches in the boys and girls singles respectively. 

Mtisi, however, managed to win the third and fourth place match to finish third. 

The boys title went to Reuben De Klerk of South Africa. He overpowered Connor Doig 7-5, 6-1.

Mitia Voavy of Madagascar beat Mirindra Razafinarivo 6-2, 6-3 to win the girls section. 

One of the coaches for Zimbabwe, Vincent Nyatoti, said despite most of their players missing out on the finals, the performance was encouraging. 

“Generally, I think the performance of the team has been very good. They did very well both sides 14s and 16s, both categories boys and girls and looking at those who played in the semis today, I think that was a good show. 

“Overall, I would like to congratulate the players, the way they played, the way they performed at this level . . . I think they played above what (was) expected, which is plus in terms of our players considering that we last had our 14s for CAT tournament some time back. 

“So this will also add to their CAT rankings because some of our 14s players didn’t have any CAT ranking,” said Nyatoti. 

Going into the team competition today, Nyatoti said they are hopeful of some positive results. 

“Then the team event, it’s not that easy to gauge individual competition with team competition. But we have got high expectations that maybe we will get through (to) the semis and hopefully into the finals because there are some equally challenging teams like South Africa and Madagascar.

“But from the individuals, we have realised we are at par, so hopefully we will get to the semis and at the end of the day, maybe become part of the finalists,” said Nyatoti. The doubles finals were scheduled for late yesterday.

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