|ITF tourney lights Harare|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
MORE than 150 players from around the world have descended on the capital for the International Tennis Federation African Junior Circuit tournament which began at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The event runs until August 4 and several locals that include top seed Tendai Tapfuma, Ronzai Saurombe, Courtney Lock, Thabie Tshitedi and Vimbai Ugaro are among those who will be battling for honours.
After the knockout qualifiers played yesterday 80 players will now battle it out in the main draw.
South Africa’s pair of Thomas Greeff and Warren Joshua, Zimbabwe’s Rufaro Chirehwa are among those who have qualified for the main draw.
Other players who are set to take part in the main draw include Namibia’s Tuki Jacobs, Karan Salwan of India, South Africa’s Joshua Luck and Innocent Tidimane of Botswana.
Tournament Director, Cliff Nhokwara expressed satisfaction with preparations and said they are looking forward to an exciting tournament.
“This is the highest level competition for the Juniors we have hosted in Zimbabwe for a long time and we are expecting a tough tournament for the local players. It’s quite a good experience and the exposure they are getting in playing in this tournament will actually improve their game. The entries were just awesome with more than 150 players taking part but after today’s (yesterday) qualifiers about 80 players made it to the main draw. This tournament will also help us get recognition on the world map in terms of tennis because hosting such a tournament of this magnitude means we are more than capable,” he said.
“Also from a developmental aspect since the Black family era is gone, this is the good platform to start grooming new players who will carry us internationally,” said Nhokwara.
The ITF Junior circuit is a Grade Four ranking competition whereby players battle for points which will be used in their world rankings.