Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S top junior player Mehluli Sibanda and his doubles partner Sheil Kotecha from Kenya claimed their second doubles title yesterday in the third leg of the ongoing ITF 18-and-Under South Central Circuit at Harare Sports Club.
The top seeds Sibanda and Sheil beat the pair of Zyaan Ahmed and Emile Hudd of Great Britain, who were seeded third, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 10-8 in the final yesterday. And this is the second time they have won the doubles together after last week’s victory in the second event. Earlier on Sibanda had put up a fine performance to overcome Lleyton Cronje of South Africa 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the singles semi-finals.
The Zimbabwean player had a good start holding his first serve and breaking Cronje’s twice to take the first set 6-4. But Cronje came back to claim the second set 6-2. Sibanda takes on number one seed Hudd today in the final.
While the two met in the doubles yesterday with their partners, today it will be their third meeting in the singles finals. They played each other in the first and second leg of this circuit.
Sibanda won the first leg 7-6 (5), 6-1 while Hudd took the second leg with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Going into today’s final, Sibanda said the better player on the day will win. “I think it’s going to be 50-50 because I beat him in straight sets in the first week and he beat me in straight sets in the second. I just played better in the first week and he played better in the second. So it depends who plays better on the day,” Sibanda said.