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After Cara, it’s been quiet on the tennis front

17 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga

Sports Reporter
HAVING had Cara Black dominating around the world, for years, it’s sad the country has not had other players following in her glorious path in tennis.

Some of the players who have emerged from this country include the likes of Fadzai Mawisire, Nicole Dzenga and Valeria Bhunu. Former Davis Cup team non-playing captain, and coach Martin Dzuwa, said lack of financial support has been a major factor.

“There are quite a number of issues that, maybe, have made women’s tennis not to grow,’’ he said.

‘‘Before, there used to be grants from ITF, even us, we got grants from ITF.

‘‘It was not much but it would help you to move from one place to another and try to make it.

“When you are now Under-18, it becomes so hard because there is a lot of travelling involved.

‘‘There is a lot of money involved in touring.

“And, before, there used to be the touring teams, if you are top, maybe top four in Africa, whatever the number, they will pick you and you travel to Europe for two to three months on senior-level playing tournaments, futures.

‘‘That made it easy to break through.’’

Dzuwa noted that with more demands, when one turns professional, most of the players, and parents, were focusing on scholarships and pursuing other areas of interest after that.

“My kid will play tennis, after Form Four or A-Level they will go to America on a full tennis scholarship, then that’s it,’’ he said.

“That’s how we have lost players, not that we have bad players.

‘‘We have good players but the support that we are getting is not helping anybody because, for a parent, it becomes too much.

‘‘And our association, I think, they are also struggling as well.’’

Another coach, Richmore Murape, said there weren’t enough supporting structures.

“If they get the scholarship, then, that’s the end of everything.

As long as they get to Europe, I don’t think they pursue sport, so, the set-up is not good enough, the supporting structure is not good enough,” said Murape.

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