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North Africans dominate junior tennis championships

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Story by Mthokozisi Dube

Zimbabwe junior tennis players Sasha Chimedza and Tadiwanashe Mauchi bowed out of the International Tennis Federation U18 tournament after going down 6-1 6-1 to Morocco in the semifinal in Cairo.

The Zimbabwean pair found the going tough despite putting up a spirited fight in the semi-final clash against Morocco’s El Ayouni and Malakh El Allami.

Despite struggling on the clay courts, the team is concentrating on the positives from the tournament.

Zimbabwe U18 tennis head coach Thesly Mufunda said, “We have had a good tournament, with great experience after playing in clay courts with low altitude when we are normally at higher altitude. It was a learning curve for the girls for them to have to adapt. North Africans dominated as they are used to these courts. The girls lost in a semi-final clash against Moroccan players despite putting up a brilliant fight. They gained a lot of experience and we hope to see them in the next edition next year since they will still be eligible.”

In the boys’ category, Thompson Tom and Ronan Mtisi lost 3-6,4-6 in the early stages of the tournament to the Egyptian pair, while Benedict Badza and Takunda Muwandagara also suffered a heavy 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 blow in the decisive final set against the Tunisian representatives.

Sasha Chimedza will now progress to play in the singles qualifiers while Benedict Badza flew to Bloemfontein, South Africa for another Under 18 ITF tournament.