The Sunday Mail
One of Zimbabwe’s brightest tennis prospects, Tadiwa Chinamo, fresh from his exploits in Kenya for the Africa Junior Championships, is now in line for a dream breakthrough into the prestigious American and European tournaments.
The 16-year-old French-based star reached the semi-finals of the AJC U16 boys’ category before beating C. Lumeta of Malawi to finish an impressive third position in the singles at the 37th edition of the tournament held in Kenya.
Chinamo then partnered with Julius Mutetwa in the doubles where they dispatched opponents on their way to the final before succumbing to the Egyptian top seeds of Yousseff Hossam and Sherif Makhlouf.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is set to do an assessment of the performances at the continental tournament where they will promote top unseeded performers to play in European and American junior tournaments.
After the impressive efforts, Chinamo’s chances of getting invited to some of these prestigious tournaments that have nurtured some of the best professionals in world tennis will be high.
Zimbabwe Tennis administrator Cliff Nhokwara said the association is waiting on a verdict from the ITF but believes the 16-year-old’s chances are high.
“Our players did well, especially Tadiwa, who reached the finals in the singles and doubles categories and he stands a good chance of getting invited to top European and American tournaments.
“It is a good thing that he is based in France, as he already plays in some of the competitive tournaments of Europe and if he could get more exposure it will be great for his career.
“We now just have to wait on a verdict from the ITF which will look into the tournament’s results and let us know their position in the coming weeks,” said Nhokwara.
He added: “This will obviously have a positive impact on our tennis but we still face the challenge of funds. Yes, we get support from parents and other well wishers and we are grateful but with more funding, our players will reach the best levels.”
Other commendable performances came from the U14 boys doubles team of Tanaka Chabata and Dennis Moses who reached the quarter–finals stage, while the going was tough for other Zimbabwean players.
Beverly Bhunu bowed out in the second round of the U14 girls singles, while Kimberly Bhunu exited in the first round before the two crashed out in the first round of the doubles category.
Karen Machisa and Rufaro Chireva exited in the first round of the U16 girls singles and first round of the doubles, while Julius Mutetwa was out in the U16 boys first round.